MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Nizamoodin Jamadar on Monday while reserving it's orders on a plea filed by former state home minister Anil Deshmukh challenging the FIR lodged against him by the CBI, said the central agency must conduct a "practical probe against everyone involved in the alleged corruption case." The bench has also ordered the agency to submit all the investigation papers in the case.
The bench on Monday heard the arguments of the CBI through additional solicitor general Aman Lekhi, who argued that there is no requirement to obtain a prior sanction under section 17 A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, to prosecute Deshmukh.
Notably, Deshmukh through senior counsel Amit Desai has maintained that the central agency ought to obtain a mandatory sanction under the PC act. He has further argued that the FIR filed by the CBI doesn't disclose any material enough to prosecute him.
Countering the submissions, Lekhi argued that the CBI has conducted the preliminary enquiry and then proceeded to file an FIR as the enquiry revealed the commission of a cognizable offence. "The HC had ordered for an enquiry, which disclosed a cognizable offence. They argue that sanction is necessary does it mean that the court's order will be diluted?" Lekhi argued.
"It would make the entire process futile. The HC did not direct CBI to take state's sanction of the PC Act," the ASG argued further.
The ASG further clarified that it isn't "one persons job" and thus the agency has invoked criminal conspiracy charge in the FIR.
At this, the judges said, "Be it any department, one individual cannot do anything of this sort," adding, "When you are transferred, then you have problems.
If we go to the root of the matter. Who inducted Sachin Waze?" the bench questioned.
"Mr ASG, the thrust of the April 5 order is public confidence," the bench clarified.
At this, Lekhi argued that merely not mentioning the "unknown persons" in the FIR wouldn't vitiate the FIR.
ASG Lekhi further referred to the eight page letter written by Parambir Singh, the former commissioner of police, Mumbai alleging Deshmukh of giving a target of Rs 100 crore to arrested cop Sachin Waze, to extort from city's bars and restaurants.
"The quality of the excercise shows it is not in due discharge of duty," Lekhi said, while reading the letter.
At this, the bench said, "Whatever you (Lekhi) have read, happened on what date? Was it not the duty of the then commissioner to have registered an FIR?"
However, ASG Lekhi responded that the CBI has intervened in three matter only after the HC's orders on April 5.
"Thus, we are reminding you at the cost of repetition that we expect practical investigation of all," the bench observed.
Accordingly, the judges closed the matter for judgment, with a directive to the CBI to submit in a sealed envelope the papers pertaining to the probe in the case.