In what could spell serious trouble for former commissioner of police Parambir Singh and others in the committee that reinstated arrested police officer Sachin Waze, the Bombay high court, on Wednesday, told the CBI to ‘widen’ it's probe into the FIR filed against former state home minister Anil Deshmukh. The judges said that the head of the administration "cannot claim innocence and was equally responsible".
The bench of justices Sambhaji Shinde and Nizamoodin Jamadar were hearing a plea filed by Deshmukh through senior counsel Amit Desai, seeking to quash the FIR. It said the agency must look into the role of each and every person involved in the case.
“If you (CBI) want to give true meaning to the orders passed by the chief justice on April 5 directing a preliminary enquriy then we think you must probe the roles of each and every person involved in this case,” the judges said.
During the hearing, the bench was informed that Singh had accused Deshmukh of asking Waze and some other officers to extort Rs 100 crore per month from bars and restaurants.
“Whoever is the head of the administration cannot claim innocence by saying that he was only following orders. The head of the administration is also equally responsible,” the judges said, adding, “The minister might have told to reinstate Waze, but can the person holding the key and the top post simply obey the orders without performing his duties.”
"We expect the CBI to widen its probe. We hope that the CBI has now found out as to who the conspirators are," the judges added.
Further, the bench said that the committee that reinstated Waze should also be named as an accused since the officer is booked in the Antilia bomb scare case and also in the case pertaining to the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran. The judges, however, refrained from taking any names but questioned as to who inducted Waze.
To this, additional solicitor general Aman Lekhi, appearing for the CBI, told the court that the agency's probe is "comprehensive and no person will be excluded."
"The investigation is still at a preliminary stage, where the facts are hazy and hence at this stage one cannot form a prima facie opinion," the ASG submitted.
The judges further pointed out the orders passed by the Supreme Court while denying relief to Deshmukh, who had challenged the April 5 orders of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta for preliminary probe. The bench said the SC referred to the link between Deshmukh and Singh.
"The CBI may have to make an inquiry and investigate about all this too," the judges said.
The matter has been adjourned till July 12.