The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) on Monday questioned the intention of the Maharashtra government for filing petition seeking to challenge portions of the FIR lodged under charges of corruption against former home minister Anil Deshmukh. The CBI told the Bombay High Court bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Nizamoodin Jamadar that it is under obligation to probe as to why arrested officer Sachin Waze was reinstated.
The judges were hearing a plea filed by the state government against two unnumbered paragraphs of the CBI FIR against Deshmukh, based on which the agency has demanded documents pertaining to reinstatement of Waze and even the report submitted by IPS officer Rashmi Shukla, who alleged that there was political intervention in transfers and postings of police officers in the state.
The CBI has filed an FIR against Deshmukh pursuant to orders passed by a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta on a clutch of petitions filed by Parambir Singh, former top cop of Mumbai and Jaishri Patil, an advocate.
The state through senior counsel Rafiq Dada has maintained that the chief justice only ordered the CBI to investigate the contentions of Singh in his letter that Deshmukh had asked Waze and a few officers to recover at least Rs 100 crore a month illegally from bars and restaurants in the city. It claimed that the CJ led bench didn't ask the CBI to probe why Waze was reinstated after 15 years of suspension and also the allegations of IPS Shukla regarding transfers and postings of officers.
Appearing for the CBI, additional solicitor general Anil Singh told the judges that the state must spell in bolds, it's intention in filing the present proceedings. "Why is the state challenging the FIR, especially when it is filed pursuant to orders of this court. Why is the state seeking to challenge corruption of FIR? Instead the state should cooperate with us," Singh argued.
Taking over the arguments from ASG Singh, his senior solicitor general Tushar Mehta appeared before the bench and argued that the bench led by CJ Datta didn't put restrictions or narrowed the scope of probe by the CBI in the present case.
"The bench led by Chief Justice was fully cognizant of what it was ordering. No where did the bench in it's orders said that the CBI cannot probe certain aspects of the case," Mehta argued.
"We cannot see this case with some isolated events. We have to look at it overall. Right from the letter written by Parambir Singh till the orders of the HC," he added, while emphasising on the observations made by CJ Datta in his April 5 orders while noting the seriousness of the allegations against Deshmukh.
"Are we (CBI) not under a mandate to probe what prompted the transfers? What promopted the then home minister to have an access to an API level cop (Waze)? How was an officer of such a low rank had an easy access to the home minister and his official residence? All this needs to be probed," Mehta argued.
The Solicitor General further pointed out from the letter written by Singh to CM Uddhav Thackeray, wherein he has claimed that Deshmukh contacted several officers from city police force without keeping him (Parambir) in the loop.
"This itself raises doubts over reinstatement of Waze. Shouldn't the CBI probe as to why was an officer with a 'shady past' brought back after 15 years and why was he given important cases to probe?" Mehta argued.
As far as Rashmi Shukla's issue is concerned, Mehta read out from CJ's orders that advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni had submitted before that bench that the state has closed the enquiry in the contentions made by Shukla in her report alleging intervention of ministers in transfers.
"The state now say it is probing against Shukla. But they aren't probing the contentions made in her report but are only investigating the fact as to how the report got leaked. The state has booked Shukla under Official Secrets Act," Mehta argued, adding, "We aren't on that point. We have nothing to do as to how the report got leaked. We want to probe that report."
Matter is adjourned till Wednesday for Dada to respond.