The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday apprehended erstwhile Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's lawyer, Anand Daga, in connection to an allegation of trying to subvert the preliminary enquiry session of Deshmukh directed by the Bombay High Court, officials confirmed.
The agency has brought Daga, who was arrested in Mumbai, to Delhi on a transit remand, they said.
According to the CBI officials, the advocate is scheduled to be produced before a competent court alongside the arrested CBI sub-inspector Abhishek Tiwari, who was arrested on Wednesday night on the ground of allegedly receiving bribe from Daga.
In its FIR, the CBI has booked Daga and Tiwari in the case, they said.
"The CBI has registered a case against its Sub-inspector; a Nagpur based advocate and unknown others on certain allegations, including illegal gratification. During the investigation of the said case, CBI has today arrested the Sub Inspector. The said advocate is being questioned. Searches were conducted in Allahabad and Delhi," CBI spokesperson RC Joshi had said.
A report of the preliminary enquiry purportedly giving clean chit to Deshmukh was leaked on Saturday night causing embarrassment to the agency.
The CBI started a probe into the leakage in which it emerged that findings of the PE were influenced.
"Attempt of Anil Deshmukh's team were in contempt of the Bombay High Court which had directed that all concerned should fully cooperate with the CBI while conducting the PE. In this case it has appeared that Deshmukh's team tried to subvert the PE," an official told PTI.
Their attempt could not succeed as there is a procedure in the CBI in which evidences on record and legal opinion is also taken on record before the registration of the FIR, he said.
"They could not influence people at higher level," he said.
The CBI had started a PE on the orders of the Bombay High Court which had issued the direction while hearing a public interest litigation on allegations of corruption against Deshmukh.
The claimed PE findings which were leaked showed the Deputy SP probing the matter had purportedly opined that no cognisable offence was made out against Deshmukh.
It was later converted into an FIR based on a contrasting opinion of the Deputy SP. The opinion mentioned in the FIR said that cognisable offence is made out against Deshmukh.
"The Preliminary Enquiry prima facie revealed that a cognisable offence is made out in the matter, wherein the then Home minister of Maharashtra, Shri Anil Deshmukh and unknown others have attempted to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of their public duty," the CBI FIR alleged.
In the FIR, the CBI had booked Deshmukh and others unidentified under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act for "attempt to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of public duty."
Allegations against Deshmukh had surfaced after the removal of Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
He was removed after the role of policemen Sachin Waze surfaced into the case of an explosive-laden SUV which was found parked outside the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani. Waze was arrested by the NIA.
In his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh had asked Waze to extort over Rs 100 crore a month from bars and restaurants of Mumbai, they said.
The FIR alleged that Deshmukh "and others" exercised undue influence over the transfer and posting of officials.
(With PTI Inputs)