The Supreme Court has refused to interfere with a Bombay High Court order directing a CBI probe into charges of corruption against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
The bench of Justices S K Kaul and Hemant Gupta stated on Thursday (April 8) that an independent probe is required to verify the charges leveled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh against Deshmukh because both occupied such high positions in the government.
The apex court was hearing an appeal by the Maharashtra government and Deshmukh, a senior NCP leader, to put a stay on the High Court order. “The allegations are extremely serious and the persona involved are the Commissioner and Home Minister. In this scenario, will it not be a CBI case?” the court asked.
“Anil Deshmukh did not resign initially. He did so only after the High Court directed a probe. It means the Home Minister was clinging on to office. Let the independent agency look into it. It is hunky dory,” the Supreme Court said.
Speaking on behalf of Anil Deshmukh , senior advocate Kapil Sibal said, “I am not saying there should be no preliminary probe. But get my version on record and decide. Do not bring an outside agency, there are problems. I am vilified without being given chance. Look at the damage it has caused.”
The Bombay High Court on April 5 ordered a CBI investigation against Deshmukh on the basis of a complaint made by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh, through a letter written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on March 25.
On the court’s contention that can an accused choose the probing agency, Sibal said, “It is a hearsay statement with no material (evidence). The man, Waze, tells another person and that person tells Bhujbal, and he in turn tells the police commissioner. The commissioner makes the statement after he is shifted out of the position.”