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Anil Deshmukh case: Jaiswal key witness, impartial probe required, Maharashtra government tells HC

The state govt has sought direction to stay the proceedings arising out of the CBI probe and raised grievances against summons issued by the agency to Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte and DGP Sanjay Pandey.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
November 25, 2021 11:40:07 pm
Anil Deshmukh, Subodh Kumar, CBI director, Sitaram Kunte, Sanjay Pandey, Param Bir Singh, CBI, Bombay HC, mumbai news, Maharashtra news, Indian express news, Maharashtra government, Maharashtra governmentThe bench in its verdict referred to a past Supreme Court judgment and observed that the blotter paper forms an integral part of LSD consumed to ascertain whether it was in small or commercial quantity. (File)

The Maharashtra government on Thursday began its rejoinder to the CBI’s submissions against a writ plea seeking constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the case pertaining to the FIR registered by the agency against NCP leader and former state home minister Anil Deshmukh.

The state government has sought direction to stay the proceedings arising out of the CBI probe and raised grievances against summons issued by the agency to Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte and DGP Sanjay Pandey, claiming that its “highest officers” were being harassed.

After the Mumbai Police issued summons to CBI Director Subodh Kumar Jaiswal to appear before the BKC cyber police station in connection with an FIR registered into the “illegal” phone tapping and data leak case, the CBI had issued summons to Kunte and Pandey, asking them to appear before it in regard to the Deshmukh case.

A division bench of Justice Nitin M Jamdar and Justice Sarang V Kotwal on Thursday continued hearing the state government’s plea.

The reliefs sought by the Maharashtra government on behalf of its two top officers, along with contentions against Jaiswal were “misconceived” and were made to “mislead the court” as the officers themselves had not filed the petition in the matter, the CBI added on Wednesday.

Senior advocate Darius Khambata for the state government on Thursday denied the CBI’s contentions and said that while Jaiswal is going to be a key witness in the case, who took decisions for transfers and postings, the impartial probe with him not being at the helm of the organisation investigating the case was required to instil confidence in citizens as per the April 5 HC order.

Denying the CBI’s allegations of a surrogate petition with Deshmukh being the “real actor” behind it, Khambata said on behalf of the state, “I am not an apologist for Deshmukh, If at all he is guilty, he will be hanged along with ‘unknown others’. CBI said that this is a proxy petition for Deshmukh and we could have sought this relief earlier. By filing such a petition, what we are doing is actually an antithesis of what a guilty person would want. We are seeking an independent probe and not stalling it.”

“Documents after documents are showing his (Jaiswal) involvement. I am not saying that there is any wrongdoing on his part at this stage, but it is a matter of investigation. Let us assume, it is a perfect investigation, but who is doing it? That is important. The HC in its July verdict had entrusted duty in the state for ensuring free and fair investigation, so we have locus to file this plea,” Khambata argued.

The HC will continue hearing from the state government on Friday.

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