June 23, 2021 7:37:08 pm
The Bombay High Court Wednesday concluded the hearing in the plea by the Maharashtra government seeking directions to set aside two “unnumbered paragraphs” from an FIR registered by the CBI on April 21 on alleged corruption charges against former state home minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh and other unknown persons.
The state government’s counsel, while submitting a rejoinder to the CBI’s response to the plea, reiterated that the central investigating agency had no mandate to conduct an inquiry into the two issues and the same was to “try and mutilate” pending state investigations against former state intelligence commissioner Rashmi Shukla and former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh for reinstatement of suspended and arrested API Sachin Waze by going beyond the April 5 high court order.
A division bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar which conducted the final hearing in the state government’s petition since June 18 has reserved judgment in the plea.
Of the two “unnumbered” paragraphs challenged by the state, one pertained to allegations that Deshmukh was aware of Waze’s reinstatement while the second stated that the NCP leader and others exercised “undue influence” over the transfer and postings of officers.
While the state is investigating Singh in connection with Waze’s reinstatement, while Shukla is being investigated in an alleged phone-tapping case.
On June 21, the CBI had told the HC that the Maharashtra government, by not cooperating and refusing access to certain documents sought by it with regard to an FIR against Deshmukh, was in contempt of court and “scared” of the investigation into two issues “intrinsically linked” to allegations of corruption against the former state home minister.
Responding to the CBI, senior counsel Rafique Dada on Wednesday said, “How can all issues, including Waze’s reinstatement, Rashmi Shukla letter, transfers and postings, alleged extortion from restaurants be part of the same transaction? The whole idea of CBI is to pollute the matter. Several unrelated matters, which are not mandated as per the HC order, cannot be investigated in one FIR. It is highly irresponsible.”
He added, “The morale of police will be down if such pillage (by CBI) is allowed through the backdoor entry. We are not only fighting for a federal structure but also the sanctity of our (state) investigations and the state has the power to probe.”
Dada said that it was surprising that the CBI FIR did not name Param Bir Singh or Waze, but all the central agency found that Deshmukh was in “knowledge” of reinstatement.
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