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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

CBI FIR against Deshmukh: ‘Who are these unknown persons’; HC seeks progress report of probe in sealed cover

The Bombay HC questioned whether, at this stage, when the probe was still on, it should hear a plea for quashing FIR, to which Desai responded that the bench can quash the FIR if prima facie no material was found in allegations.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: July 5, 2021 8:47:36 pm
Anil deshmukh fir news mumbaiAfter conducting PE, pursuant to the April 5 order, it was the duty of CBI to ensure FIR was registered not only against Deshmukh, but against everyone who was a part of allegations, the bench said. (File Photo)

THE BOMBAY High Court Monday sought to know from the CBI the names of the “unknown persons” mentioned in its April 21 FIR against former state home minister Anil Deshmukh following the conclusion of preliminary probe (PE) as per the court’s April 5 order.

The HC observed it was over two months since the FIR was lodged and, therefore, sought a report on the progress of the investigation in a sealed cover.

As per its April 5 order, it was the duty of CBI to probe not just Deshmukh, but everyone in the alleged corruption case, a division bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar said while hearing Deshmukh’s writ petition challenging the FIR filed by CBI against him and other unknown persons on charges of bribery, corruption and criminal conspiracy.

Senior counsel Amit Desai and advocate Kamlesh Ghumre, appearing for Deshmukh, reiterated the central agency has failed to take the consent of the state government before registering the FIR and conducting the probe as per the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.

The HC questioned whether, at this stage, when the probe was still on, it should hear a plea for quashing FIR, to which Desai responded that the bench can quash the FIR if prima facie no material was found in allegations.

“In the FIR, you have mentioned the petitioner (Deshmukh) and other unknown persons as accused. We usually see that in robbery, theft cases. You have conducted a preliminary enquiry. So, who are these unknown persons? What is the further investigation done by CBI? Give us an investigation progress report in a sealed envelope. We will see and return,” Justice Shinde told Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, representing CBI.

After conducting PE, pursuant to the April 5 order, it was the duty of CBI to ensure FIR was registered not only against Deshmukh, but against everyone who was a part of allegations, the bench said. “Even unknown persons, that may also include those on committee reinstating (dismissed and arrested police official) Sachin Waze,” it added.

Desai also said the CBI FIR was “vague” and there was an attempt to protect certain persons by mentioning “unknown persons” in the FIR.
The matter will be heard next on July 7.

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