Mumbai: Ending the suspense over the government action against the IPS officer who allegedly secretly filmed the interrogation of Pune stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan - facing massive money laundering charges, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday declared suspension of Ashok Deshbrathar, DCP (Government Railway Police).

State Home Minister R R Patil told the state Assembly that Ashok has been placed under suspension and a departmental inquiry ordered against him for leaked its doctored CDs, apparently to malign the government.

"It has been proved in the (CID) investigation that the police officer had doctored the CD with an intention to malign the government.  He did not pass on the information about his secret interrogation to his superiors which proves his ulterior motive," Patil said.

Patil said though the CID recommended Deshbrathar's dismissal, the government had decided only to suspend him and order a department enquiry as part of natural justice. "We want to enable him to put forward his statement in the matter."

Patil said action comes on the back of a CID inquiry into the CD episode  which recommended that the officer be sacked from the force under article 311 of the Constitution and criminal case be filed against him under section 500 (defamation) and 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace) IPC and section three of Incitement to disaffection act 1922.

In the CD, he said, Khan was shown boasting of his links with top Congress and NCP leaders and how the decision to appoint Hassan Gafoor as Mumbai police commissioner was taken at a meeting in a suburban five star hotel.

The minister said the voice in the CD was that of Deshbrathar but he was not seen in the footage shot with a pen camera.

Patil rejected the claim made in the CD that he, Congress President Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel and former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had met in the presence of Khan at a five star hotel in suburban Mumbai to decide on the appointment of Gafoor as police commissioner.

The minister said Deshbrathar had interrogated Khan several times between December 15 and 23, 2008 when the latter was arrested in a fake passport case in Mumbai. "But he never
shared the information with his superiors or gave any directions to his juniors in the case."

He also alleged that Deshbrathar had demanded Rs one crore from Yusuf Lakdawala to give good treatment to Hasan Ali Khan in custody.

Patil rubbished the charge levelled by BJP member Devendra Phadanvis that the officer was suspended because he sought permission to intervene in the Hasan Ali Khan case in the Supreme Court. Phadanvis said the officer was suspended on March 19 after he sought permission on March 15 to furnish information against Khan.

(Agencies)