Updated: December 23, 2021 4:51:49 am
Noting that former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh was not arraigned as an accused in a CBI final report, a Delhi court on Wednesday directed the CBI to investigate the NCP leader in connection with the leak of sensitive and confidential information related to a corruption case, observing that the agency “seems to have forsaken the man pulling the strings”.
Special Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal passed the order while taking cognizance of a charge sheet filed in this matter against Deshmukh’s lawyer Anand Daga and CBI sub-inspector Abhishek Tiwari.
“The CBI seems to have left the engine / horse pulling the cart, thereby only arraigning those travelling in cart, as without pull of engine or horse the ride of cart or conspiracy would not have been possible… Despite mountain of apparent evidence, CBI seems to have forsaken the man pulling the strings or the controlling mind or master mind or head while only chargesheeting the hands, for reasons best known,” the court said in its December 22 order.
Tiwari and Daga were arrested after the leak of the purported CBI Preliminary Enquiry (PE) report, which had found that no cognizable offence was made out against Deshmukh on the allegations of corruption levelled by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh in the Bombay High Court. The leaked report, the CBI alleged, was circulated on social media as part of a “larger conspiracy to subvert the investigation”.
In its December 22 order, the Delhi court directed the CBI to “discreetly and thoroughly further investigate the role of Deshmukh in present matter with utmost alacrity, in a time bound manner”.
The agency has been directed to file a status report in this regard within four weeks of the order “without fail”.
The court made the observations after noting that both Daga and Tiwari were closely associated with Deshmukh and “may have been acting in tandem with him, who may be the controlling mind of the larger conspiracy”.
The judge further noted that the two “may only be hands, as he [Deshmukh] would have been and was the main beneficiary from the leakage of the contents of above PE”.
On December 17, the last date of hearing, the court had discussed the contents of the charge sheet, noting that Tiwari had received “illegal gratification” for leaking sensitive and confidential information related to the alleged corruption case against Deshmukh, and that he received an iPhone 12 Pro as a bribe.