Mumbai, Feb 3 (PTI) Former additional chief secretary (ACS) of the Maharashtra home department, Sitaram Kunte, has told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that at times, the then home minister Anil Deshmukh used to hand over “unofficial lists” of police officers for their transfer, and being a subordinate he could not refuse to accept them.
The IAS officer said that most of the names mentioned in the “unofficial list” used to figure in the final transfer order as well.
On cancellation of transfer order of 10 DCPs in Mumbai in July 2020, the ex-ACS said the chief minister (Uddhav Thackeray) had instructed him to convey to the then city police commissioner (Param Bir Singh) to maintain status quo on the matter.
Kunte made these revelations in the statement given to the ED. The statement is part of a supplementary charge-sheet filed by the ED in money laundering case involving Deshmukh in December last year in a court here.
Besides Deshmukh, the charge-sheet mentions the name of his two sons – Hrishikesh and Salil – and nine others.
On being asked by the ED about receiving an “unofficial list”, Kunte stated that at times Deshmukh used to hand over such list containing suggestions in respect of certain police officers/certain posts.
“The said suggestions from Deshmukh used to be shown to all the members of PEB (police establishment board ) and I used to orally convey that these recommendations/suggestions have been received from Deshmukh,” he said.
Usually, most of the suggestions/recommendations given by Deshmukh in the form of unofficial list used to be included in the final order, he added.
Kunte further stated that being a subordinate, he could not refuse to accept Deshmukh’s unofficial list.
Replying to a question on cancellation of the transfer order of 10 DCPs issued by the then Mumbai police chief in July, 2020, Kunte said, “I had got telephonic instructions from the chief minister that he had received certain complaints regarding transfers and postings. He (CM) asked me to convey to police commissioner to maintain status quo and that the police commissioner should apprise him of the matter. Further, I informed the same to Mumbai police commissioner through telephonic conversations/WhatsApp message,” Kunte said.
“I am neither aware of the exact nature of the complaints nor any further developments in the matter,” he added.
Deshmukh is currently in judicial following his arrest in the money laundering case being probed by the ED.
The ED case of money laundering against Deshmukh, who was earlier home minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, and others came after the CBI booked him following allegations of corruption levelled by the former Mumbai top cop, who is now suspended.
Deshmukh stepped down as home minister in April last year. PTI AVI NP NP
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Source: The Print