Updated: May 27, 2021 1:14:55 am
The vacation bench of the Bombay High Court, which is hearing a petition filed by the Maharashtra government seeking the setting aside the two “unnumbered paragraphs” in the April 21 corruption FIR registered by the CBI against former state home minister Anil Deshmukh and other unknown persons, adjourned the matter to June 8 on Wednesday.
This came after the court accepted and the state agreed to CBI’s contention that the matter should be heard by the same bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta, which on April 5 had directed the agency to conduct a preliminary probe into allegations made against Deshmukh by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh, provided the CBI did not press the government for certain documents related to offences mentioned in the FIR till June 9.
The CBI submitted that till June 9, it will not act on letters it had sent to the government seeking certain documents, including a August 2020 letter/report by Rashmi Shukla, then commissioner of the state intelligence department, alleging political interference and corruption in postings and transfers of police officers.
A vacation bench of Justice S J Kathawalla and Justice S P Tavade was hearing a plea by the state seeking directions to set aside two paragraphs from the April 21 FIR. While one of the paragraphs pertained to allegations of Deshmukh being aware of reinstatement of now suspended and arrested assistant inspector Sachin Waze – an accused in the Ambani terror scare case and the murder of Mansukh Hiran – the other stated that Deshmukh and others exercised “undue influence” over the transfer and postings of police officers.
On Wednesday, Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for CBI, told HC that the matter should be heard by the same bench (led by CJ Datta) that had passed the April 5 order, as the “state’s petition seeks to give a particular interpretation or clarification to the said order, which is unwarranted”.
“We do not have an objection to that since the issue is of interpretation of the April 5 order. In that case, you (CBI) will have to wait till June 7 (when the regular court resumes after vacation) and hold your hands on the letters/documents you are asking from them (state),” the bench responded.
The court then directed its registry, after obtaining permission from CJ Datta, to place the matter before a bench led by him on June 8 for “necessary directions” from the “first court”.
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