In a fresh jolt to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, the CBI has chargesheeted his daughter Pooja and daughter-in-law Rahat in connection with alleged leakage of the agency’s internal draft report in 2021 giving clean chit to the leader in an extortion case against him, officials said.
In its supplementary charge sheet filed before a special CBI court here, the agency has termed Pooja a “co-conspirator” who allegedly planned, directed, and provided logistical support to Deshmukh’s lawyer Anand Dilip Daga to bribe agency’s sub-inspector Abhishek Tiwari to get the draft report, they said.
The report was leaked to the media on August 29, 2021 “to subvert” the Bombay High Court-directed probe against him, the agency has alleged.
The Bombay High Court had directed the CBI to probe allegations of extortion worth crores from restaurant and bar owners in Mumbai levelled by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh against Anil Deshmukh.
The CBI report leaked to the media purportedly mentioned that “no cognisable offence has been committed by Anil Deshmukh”. The agency had arrested its sub-inspector, Abhishek Tiwari and Deshmukh’s lawyer, Daga, in connection with the leakage, and they were charged in 2021.
Continuing its probe into the conspiracy, the CBI has filed its supplementary charge sheet after two years in which a distant relative of Deshmukh – Vikrant Deshmukh – and Sayajeet Wayal have also been charged in addition to Pooja and Rahat.
All the accused have said they have no relation or connection with the allegations levelled against them and they have been falsely implicated in it.
Before filing the charge sheet, the CBI questioned them but they were never taken into custody.
The CBI has also sent Letters Rogatory to the U.S. through the Special CBI court here seeking email dumps of the accused, they said.
The agency has alleged that Pooja had directed Daga for the “illegal procurement and leakage of case-related documents” of the preliminary enquiry and FIR against the former minister“ to subvert the investigation”.
“The WhatsApp conversation in WhatsApp groups ‘Team And A’ and ‘Inner Circle’ revealed that even the designing of pamphlets, ‘naare’ (slogans) and printouts to create video content, tweets and photo banners against CBI investigation was done on the directions of Pooja Deshmukh,” the agency has alleged.
Based on the analysis of WhatsApp chat groups, the CBI has submitted that Pooja allegedly made logistical arrangements for Daga to travel to HAL Guest House in Pune, where Tiwari was staying, to conduct raids in connection with the probe against Deshmukh.
Daga met Tiwari who allegedly leaked the draft report in return for an iPhone12 Pro, the agency has alleged.
The CBI has alleged that Pooja sent an Innova car, used by her family, with her driver Kundan for Daga’s travel to HAL Guest house in Pune where Tiwari was staying.
“The register maintained at the entry gate of Dnyaneshwari Bungalow establishes the fact that the said vehicle was regularly used by the family members of Anil Deshmukh including Pooja Deshmukh,” the charge sheet filed in August has alleged.
The CBI has alleged that Pooja had directed Daga to send the cover letter, printing plan and material to “V” i.e. Vaibhav Gajendra Tumane, the social media handler of the ex-Minister and print the report for circulation to various media houses to run a “parallel media trial” in favour of Deshmukh.
The CBI has also chargesheeted Satyajeet Wayal who was instrumental in the procurement of the iPhone 12 worth ₹95,000 from a shop in Mukund Nagar, Pune that was allegedly used to bribe Tiwari.