A division bench of the Bombay High Court of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Nijamoodin Jamadar on Thursday dismissed the plea filed by former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to quash an FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against him in the alleged Rs 100 crore corruption case.
It also rejected the Maharashtra government’s plea challenging two unnumbered paragraphs in the FIR which pertained to the reinstatement of Sachin Waze and a report submitted by senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla claiming that there was huge ‘political interference’ in police transfers and postings in the state.
The state had claimed that the CBI couldn’t look into these two aspects as the orders passed by the bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta in April had only ordered the Central agency to probe into the Rs 100 crore corruption. It had also claimed that the move of the CBI to look into these two issues was to destabilise the present MVA government.
The HC, however, disallowed the Central agency to probe into the alleged political intervention in the transfers and postings of policemen in the state.
Pronouncing the verdict in state's plea, the judges said, “The agency can legitimately probe the reinstatement of Waze after 15 years only to the extent that it links with the probe in the Rs 100 crore corruption case against Deshmukh.”
“We would like to clarify that our orders and the order that was passed by the bench of the chief justice, doesn’t give unfettered authority to the CBI to probe transfers and postings of police, which isn’t alleged or attributed to the then home minister,” the judges clarified.
In their judgment, a copy of which is yet to be made available, the bench said, “We hope officers of the CBI will work responsibly and in accordance with the law. They must understand that they serve none but the law. They have to serve the society. The CBI isn’t the servant of anyone but of law.”
“With these observations, state’s plea is dismissed,” Justice Shinde said while pronouncing the order. Subsequently, the bench pronounced its verdict in Deshmukh’s plea and dismissed it too, though the reasoning wasn’t pronounced.
Further, the bench refused to stay the operations of both these orders for two weeks, to enable both the state, as well as Deshmukh, to go through the judgment and challenge the same in the Supreme Court.