Bombay High Court ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to start a preliminary inquiry within 15 days into corruption allegations against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni said this was an “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” case that warranted an independent inquiry.
The court was hearing a plea of the petitioner Dr Jaishri Patil regarding the matter.
“Bombay High Court has asked the CBI director to conduct a preliminary inquiry within 15 days and to register an FIR if any cognizable offence is found,” said the Petitioner Dr Jaishri Patil.
The court also stated that Anil Deshmukh is the Home Minister and no impartial probe can be done by the police.
HC further said, since the state government had already ordered a probe by a high-level committee into the matter, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) need not immediately register an FIR in the case.
It said the CBI must complete the preliminary inquiry within 15 days and then take a decision on the further course of action in the case.
The bench delivered its verdict on a bunch of Public Interest litigations (PILs) and writ petitions seeking several reliefs and a CBI probe into the matter.
In his plea, Param Bir Singh repeated the graft allegations that he had made against Deshmukh in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, and also accused the Maharashtra Home Minister of interfering in police investigations. Singh moved the Bombay High Court after the Supreme Court refused to entertain his plea regarding the same.
Singh, who was shunted out as Mumbai Police Commissioner in the wake of the Antilia bomb scare case, has also challenged the government’s order to transfer him from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner. Singh had written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray claiming Deshmukh’s involvement in severe “malpractices”.