The Maharashtra government on Friday night told the Bombay High Court bench of Justices Shahrukh Kathawalla and Surendra Tawade that the CBI's FIR against former home minister Anil Deshmukh is like finding a mouse after going into a mountain. The state said the CBI is trying to breach the scope of its probe against Deshmukh in the alleged Rs 100 crore corruption case.
The bench that was sitting from 10:30 am took up the state's petition challenging two unnumbered paragraphs of the CBI FIR, by around 10 pm.
Appearing for the state, senior counsel Rafique Dada told the bench that the state has taken exception to two unnumbered paragraphs of the FIR wherein the central agency has sought details regarding the probe against Rashmi Shukla case and even certain documents pertaining to the reinstatement of suspended cop Sachin Vaze.
Dada argued that the CBI was ordered by a bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the allegations of corruption against Deshmukh. "The order doesn't mention the issues pertaining to transfers and postings of police personnel in the state. In fact, this aspect, the CJ had asked Parambir Singh to raise it before the appropriate forum," the senior advocate argued.
"However, what has happened is that the CBI is now demanding files pertaining to Rashmi Shukla's case. But the state police is already investigating the case. How can the central agency come and interfere in the probe by the state? This would only demoralise the force," Dada argued.
The senior advocate further pointed out that the CJ's order for the preliminary enquiry was only in respect of the complaint filed by advocate Jaishri Patil and not Parambir Singh.
"The court's judgment was on Patil's complaint and not on Parambir's PIL. In that case, Patil in her complaint doesn't mention anything about the issues pertaining to transfers and postings in the state or reinstatement of Vaze," Dada said.
"In fact, Vaze was reinstated by Parambir and not Deshmukh. And the allegation that Deshmukh entrusted Vaze the task to probe the most important cases is also not mentioned in Patil's complaint. Thus, the CBI shouldn't breach the scope of its probe," Dada argued.
Further, Dada said that "the CBI FIR is like they went to the mountain only to find a rat."
At this, Justice Kathawalla sought to know why CBI wants details of Vaze.
"Is it that the agency wants to nail Deshmukh by Vaze's statements? Or does it want to join him too as an accused in the case?"
At this, Dada said he wouldn't be in a position to respond to this but said, "But asking for details regarding probe in Rashmi Shukla case would, with due respect, benefit her only. Thus, the central agency cannot ask for these documents."
The bench then noted that additional solicitor generals S V Raju and Anil Singh haven't submitted their written submissions to the court.
To which, Raju said his staff was in a difficulty owing to Covid and sought adjournment.
The matter was accordingly adjourned to Wednesday.