The Bombay High Court will render its verdict in the plea filed by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged malpractices of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on April 5.
The Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni reserved its order in the plea on Wednesday after hearing the parties at length.
The Court will also pronounce its verdict in three other connected pleas. These include a petition filed by Ghanshyam Upadhyay seeking the formation of a court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the extortion charges alleged by Param Bir Singh.
Another plea filed by chartered accountant Mohan Bhide seeks the formation of a committee headed by a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge for investigating into the allegations.
A plea was also filed by Dr. Jaishri Patil, seeking a probe by the CBI or any other independent agency into the allegations of malpractices alleged by Singh.
Senior Advocate Vikram Nankani for Singh and Advocates Subhash Jha and Alankar Kirpekar argued for a probe into the allegations.
Highlighting that one of the trigger points for Singh’s letter was the transfers of officers, Nankani submitted that police officers were forced to work for their political masters.
Referring to the Maharashtra government’s move to constitute a committee to probe the allegations, Nankani then submitted that even the State government believes that there is a need for an inquiry. However, he felt that the State’s move was inadequate.
When the Court asked Singh to approach a magistrate to register an FIR, Nankani replied that approaching the magistrate will only lead to filing of a police complaint but not a CBI probe.
Appearing for Upadhyay, Jha argued that considering the unprecedented situation where a Home Minister is involved, the Court should have taken suo motu cognizance.
Kirpekar, appearing for Bhide, stated the inquiry conducted will take away doubts from the minds of the public. He added,
“I am not saying no one is guilty. One of them, Deshmukh or Singh has to be guilty.”
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni opposed the plea stating that it was not maintainable.
He argued that Singh had placed his personal grievances in the pleadings and played the victim card. The AG went on to contend that the statements attributed to Deshmukh in Singh’s letter were false.
The Court asked the counsel how it could direct for an investigation when there was no complaint filed. The Chief Justice added that the appropriate course of action would be to file a complaint, and if there was no action on the same, then the Court could be approached.
After hearing counsel for the other petitioners and rejoinder submissions by Nankani and AG Kumbhakoni, the Court reserved its order.