All is not well between Subodh Kumar Jaiswal and the Maharashtra government since he spoke up against the alleged lobbying for postings by IPS officers with then Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. In December last year, Jaiswal, the then DGP of Maharashtra, went on central deputation as DG CISF and was later made the director of CBI.
Recently, things have worsened when the CBI under him issued summons to Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte and DGP Sanjay Pandey. The Mumbai Police in turn issued summons to Jaiswal to appear before them in connection with the FIR registered in the data leak case, where purported call recordings of IPS officers lobbying for posts were leaked.
Subodh Jaiswal, after 15 years of the scam approached the Bombay High Court against strictures passed against him by a Pune court in 2007, the Maharashtra government for the first time filed a reply to Jaiswal’s petition last month, effectively reviving a matter that had gone dormant.
In 2007, when Jaiswal had approached the HC, the strictures passed against him in connection with the probe in the Abdul Karim Telgi case have stayed, and the case has remained there since then. Now, with the Maharashtra government’s reply, with the prayer that the “hearing be expedited”, the case could be taken up again, for a decision on whether the strictures against Jaiswal should be expunged.
It has now emerged that on September 27, the state government through Assistant IG (law & order) M Ramkumar filed an affidavit in the appeal filed by Jaiswal to expunge strictures against him. The affidavit states, “I say the petitioner has filed the above petition for expunging remarks made in para 50 and 65 of the order dated 26.06.2007 passed by Special Judge under MCOCA, Pune… It is further stated that observations were also made by the Supreme Court in para no 61 and 80 while granting bail to the intervener vide order dated 27.04.2005…”
“It is further submitted that the Bombay High Court on August 13, 2007… directed that until further orders no adverse action will be initiated against the applicants on the basis of the observations which are under challenge in the present application.”
“In the circumstances, the Government of Maharashtra has not initiated any action on the said observations, pending the decision of the Hon’ble High Court in the said matter. It is also humbly prayed that the hearing of the above petition may be expedited in the interest of justice.”
Advocate Shyam Dewani, the lawyer for the intervener R S Sharma, former Mumbai Police Commissioner who was arrested in the Telgi case and eventually discharged, said, “The matter had been lying dormant for years. Earlier this year we brought it to the attention of the court and the state that a reply had not been filed.
The two paragraphs containing the strictures in the Pune court order of 2007 say that Jaiswal – who headed the SIT – had made no significant recovery of stamps or printing machines using which fake stamp papers were printed. He had neglected to recover the mobile phone of a constable using which the latter had alerted others of a police raid, the order said. It further said that some arrests were not made by Jaiswal and those who apparently helped Telgi were named as witnesses instead of accused.
The matter of the strictures came up in 2019 when a former ACP, Rajendra Trivedi, challenged Jaiswal’s selection as Maharashtra DGP on grounds that the Bombay High Court was hearing a case on this. Telgi, who died in a Bengaluru jail in 2017, was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment in 2006 in one of the cases related to the multi-crore fake stamp paper. In 2018, he was acquitted in another case filed against him in connection with the fake stamp paper case. Telgi was accused of printing fake stamp papers in the government security press at Nashik and selling them at heavy discounts. Some of the cases are pending in courts at stages of trial and appeal.
Soon after the scam came to light, an SIT had been formed under the then DIG Jaiswal. Later, the Mumbai Police Commissioner R S Sharma too had been placed under arrest a day after his retirement in December 2003 and was eventually discharged in 2007. Eventually, the case was taken over by the CBI, which filed a chargesheet in 2005.
Asked why a reply had been filed in the court after so many years, an official from the Maharashtra Home Department said that, “The intervenor had reminded them that no reply had been filed on behalf of the state in the case.”