The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the pleas filed by the Maharashtra govt and its former home minister Anil Deshmukh challenging the Bombay High Court order directing a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into allegations of corruption levelled against the Deshmukh by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
The apex court said the nature of allegations and persons involved in the case related to the sensational claim of Param Bir Singh against Deshmukh required investigation by an "independent agency".
"Nature of allegation, personas involved require investigation by independent agency," observed a bench of Justices S K Kaul and Hemant Gupta.
It is only a preliminary enquiry, nothing is wrong in it when serious allegations are made by a senior officer against a senior minister, the bench said when counsel for Deshmukh alleged that oral allegations were made without any substance and CBI probe was ordered without hearing him.
Kapil Sibal representing Deshmukh said there can be no preliminary inquiry without hearing Deshmukh. It’s only an inquiry on the basis of something akin to a press conference. It’s hearsay, he said.
However, Supreme Court Justice Kaul said that it was not his (Anil Deshmukh) enemy, who made the allegations but it was done by the one who was almost the former home minister's right-hand man (Param Bir Singh). "The probe should be done against both," Justice Kaul observed.
Kapil Sibal further said that the law must be uniform for everyone. "It can’t be that just because the police commissioner has said something, his words become evidence," he added.
The apex court was hearing two appeals of the Maharashtra government and Deshmukh who have challenged the Bombay High Court order directing a CBI probe into the allegations of corruption and misconduct levelled against Deshmukh by the former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.