HC raps lawyer over plea seeking probe against Maha minister

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Mumbai, Mar 30 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Tuesday took a dim view of a petition filed by a lawyer seeking a CBI probe against Maharashtra Home minister Anil Deshmukh and former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh, saying such pleas were often filed for 'cheap publicity'.

A bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale was hearing a plea filed by Jaishri Patil, urging the HC to direct the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any other independent agency to probe into the allegations of corruption against Deshmukh.

In her plea filed last week, Patil said Deshmukh and Singh acted in breach of their professional duties during the entire episode of an explosives-laden SUV found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence in Mumbai, the death of the vehicle's owner Mansukh Hiran, the arrest of Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze and related events.

Deshmukh has denied the allegations against him.

On Tuesday, Patil told the HC that she had also filed a complaint at a local police station regarding the entire episode.

The court, however, said, 'Prima facie we are of opinion that such petitions are filed for cheap popularity.

It is unacceptable.' The bench asked what was Patil's locus standi in the matter.

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told the bench that Param Bir Singh had also approached the HC and his petition was kept before the Chief Justice's court for hearing on Wednesday.

About Patil's plea, Kumbhakoni said the petition was very 'badly drafted'.

The bench noted that Patil's plea merely reproduced conversations between the state Home minister and Singh.

'You are a doctorate of law. Please show us some original pleading in your petition. You have only reproduced conversations between the former Commissioner and Home Minster. You are only extracting paragraphs after paragraphs,' the bench said to Patil.

'And what is your locus? What is your reason for setting the wheels of criminal law in motion? And what is your contribution in the plea?' the court asked.

The HC then asked Kumbhakoni to get all the petitions related to the issue clubbed together to avoid the possibility of inconsistent orders.

The HC will hear Patil's plea and other related pleas, if any, on April 1. PTI AYA GK GK