September 2, 2021 6:49:49 pm
The CBI on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that it has received documents from Maharashtra government in connection with its investigation into allegations of corruption against former state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh as assured by the state government.
The CBI had sought from the state various documents including a letter/report by senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla regarding alleged corruption in transfers and postings of police officers.
A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N J Jamadar was hearing an application filed by the CBI seeking documents pertaining to the FIR lodged against Deshmukh and others, stating that the state government was not cooperating in handing over documents.
The CBI had sought certified copies of a letter by Shukla addressed to the Maharashtra Director General of Police in August 2020 on transfers and postings, its annexures/ digital devices and a panchnama, to ascertain the chain of events on the handling of the report. However, the state had said that the same was not relevant to the CBI probe.
The state government had opposed the CBI’s request by stating that it amounted to a “roving enquiry and a fishing exercise” about documents which were not in the scope of the CBI’s probe.
The state government had also said that it amounted to interference in its probe being conducted in an FIR filed by Cyber police under the Official Secrets Act in connection with alleged leak of documents on call interceptions.
However, after court’s insistence, on August 26, the state government said it will provide CBI the required documents by August 31.
On Thursday, senior lawyer Rafiq Dada informed the court that the state government has provided documents to CBI and has received an additional letter from CBI on August 31 and if the material sought are covered in state’s undertaking, it will provide the same.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh for CBI sought from court to keep the central agency’s application pending for two weeks to check if the HC order has been complied with by the state or not
Referring to a new letter by CBI, the bench said, “This is in CBI’s domain and it is now their exclusive jurisdiction. Once it is with the investigation agency, then it is an exclusive domain and courts cannot step in,” the bench said. It directed the CBI and the state that “instead of bringing such issues to the court, ensure that the same is resolved between the two.”
The HC will hear CBI’s plea after two weeks.
The CBI began a probe against Deshmukh in April following the April 5 ruling of the Bombay High Court to conduct a preliminary enquiry in the allegations of corruption made against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. The CBI registered an FIR against Deshmukh and others on April 21.
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