05 Apr 2021: Bombay High Court orders CBI probe against Anil Deshmukh
The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a preliminary probe into the corruption allegations against the Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
The court has given the CBI a 15-day deadline to conclude the inquiry.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh among other petitions.
Court: Unbiased probe required to unearth truth: Bombay HC
According to LiveLaw, a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni noted, "Interest of justice will be done if the director of CBI is allowed to conduct preliminary inquiry. Once preliminary inquiry is complete, director CBI be at discretion to further course of action."
The bench also noted that an unbiased probe is required to "unearth the truth."
Court: Police probe cannot be independent: Court
The order for a CBI probe was specifically passed in response to a writ petition filed by Mumbai-based lawyer Dr. Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil.
The court said, "There can be no independent probe if it is given to police."
Responding to Singh's plea, it said that would be at liberty to make a grievance before any appropriate forum.
The court then disposed of the petitions.
Petitions: Bombay HC heard a batch of petitions
Along with a criminal PIL filed by the former Mumbai Police chief, the HC heard a slew of petitions filed by advocate Jaishri Patil and criminal PILs by advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay and Mohan Bhide.
Patil and Upadhyay had sought independent investigations, while Bhide had sought a judicial inquiry.
Singh had sought an "immediate and fair investigation" on the various "corrupt malpractices" of Deshmukh.
Allegations: What are the allegations against Deshmukh?
Singh's plea had alleged that Deshmukh had asked police officers, including suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Waze, to collect Rs. 100 crore each month from bars and restaurants.
The PIL also alleged corruption in police transfers and postings and political interference in probes.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Bombay HC had reserved its order in the matter.
Background: Singh raised allegations after transfer to low-key post
Singh had raised the allegations mere days after he was transferred as Mumbai Police chief to a low-key post in the Home Guard.
The transfer came as the state government and the police faced criticism over the Mukesh Ambani bomb threat case.
Deshmukh has denied all allegations against him. The state government has also ordered a probe by a retired HC judge.