CBI counsel to HC: Deshmukh’s quashing petition is utterly misconceived | India News

MUMBAI: Referring to the Supreme Court‘s observations that the former state home minister Anil Deshmukh and Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh were working in close confidence, the Bombay high court on Wednesday asked CBI if its probe was broad-based into the reinstatement of Sachin Waze as assistant police commissioner last year.
The committee that reinstated Waze was headed by then Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
A bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar said, “whoever is head of administration at the relevant time cannot claim helplessness. It was equally the duty of such officer to prevent it at the relevant time.’’ The HC was hearing a quashing petition filed by Deshmukh against the FIR filed against him and “unknown persons’’ by the CBI on April 21 under the prevention of corruption act (PCA) for undue advantage.
The HC in the verbal exchange, with additional solicitor general Aman Lekhi for CBI, during the hearing, said, “What we expect from the CBI, as usual, is that the investigation be broad-based as you are saying and that everyone responsible will be booked.’’
Lekhi said, “the investigation will be broad-based and cover everyone. But for that, the investigation has to proceed.
The HC said it has passed no interim order for the stay of the probe so far.
Lekhi said the probe was progressing and not being withheld in any manner. He said the governance cannot be like organized syndicate. He also said it was a “multi-layer complex investigation’. The CBI is “tracing the trend’ and that “no exception will be made for any person.’’ He added, “it is not as if the agency will play favourites.’’ But he said the HC’s April 5 order for a preliminary investigation empowers the CBI to investigate allegations against Deshmukh.
Lekhi said given that a public person involved the “investigation agency is moving with discretion, but nor is it jumping in any manner.’’
“If the petitioner is anticipating a charge sheet then there is some feeling of guilt,’’ said Lekhi saying otherwise he should be open to letting the probe continue. He also said that an FIR is not expected to give all details and the annexures to the FIR also have to be factored in, in this case, the letter by Param Bir Singh to the CM and the complaint of advocate Jaishri Patil to Malabar Hill police station, citing the letter, alleging that Deshmukh instructed Waze to collect Rs 100 crore per month from restaurants and bars and other sources
Amit Desai, senior counsel for Deshmukh in his concluding arguments on Wednesday said, “the FIR doesn’t have a single averment of fact to suggest that Deshmukh committee any offence, it also has no averment that he received any money.’’ He added that even on June 11 in its affidavit in the HC, the CBI never said that Deshmukh received any money, not a single rupee, it only alleged an “attempt’’ and alleged transfers and posting with undue influence but without any particulars of alleged extortion. Desai argued that the entire letter of Param Bir Singh was “motivated because of his transfer on March 17” and “contained false allegations.’’
Desai contended that Deshmukh resigned on “moral grounds’’.
Lehki said, Deshmukh’s quashing “petition is utterly misconceived’’. He said “Court has to look at facts as they stand. We have not to look only at the FIR but also at the accompanying material and the progress of the investigation.” The hearing will now continue on Monday.

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