Anil Deshmukh
Anil Deshmukh
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A day after the Bombay High Court ordered a preliminary probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged corruption charges by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, the Maharashtra government and former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh filed separate petitions against the judgment in the Supreme Court. Free Press Journal broke the move by the state government and Deshmukh.

The state government, in its special leave petition, argued that the Bombay High Court had passed the order on Monday on merits of the petition while the case was listed for hearing on maintainability. The government further noted that there were neither pleadings nor facts before the high court to defend a probe by the CBI.

State government sources said the CBI probe was unwarranted in the absence of an FIR.

Deshmukh, on the other hand, claimed that it was for the first time in the history of the Indian judiciary that corruption charges against a sitting minister were taken at face value. The HC had ordered a preliminary probe by an ‘outside agency’ without seeking a response from him, he said.

The former minister, who will be represented by senior advocate Manu Singhvi, submitted that the order issued by the HC projected that the entire state machinery was not to be trusted. The order also suggested that no probe could have been carried out by a state investigating agency.

Deshmukh’s argument comes at a time when the state government has already set up a one-member panel headed by retired HC judge Kailas Chandiwal to probe the corruption charges made by Singh.

It must be mentioned here that although the high court allowed the CBI to conduct an inquiry, it has ruled that the Central investigating agency need not immediately register an FIR in the case.

CBI to register PE

Our Staff Reporter adds: The CBI will be initiating the process of registering a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) to investigate the allegations of corruption and misuse of official position against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh.

"We are in the process of registering a PE in the matter after the directions of the Bombay high court. A team of officials led by a senior CBI official will soon leave for Mumbai and will record statements of all the parties connected with the matter. The team will then submit its report to arrive at a conclusion whether a criminal complaint can be registered in the matter or not," a CBI official told the FPJ.

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