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Supreme Court dismisses Maharashtra govt, Anil Deshmukh challenge against CBI probe

The petition filed by the Maharashtra Government has sought direction for grant of appeal setting aside the order of the High Court allowing CBI to conduct an inquiry over the corruption allegations made through a letter written to the CM of Maharashtra.

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The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a plea filled by former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and the Maharashtra Government challenging the order of the Bombay High Court directing the CBI to initiate a preliminary inquiry against Deshmukh and into the corruption allegations levelled by Param Bir Singh, former Mumbai Police chief.

A bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Hemant Gupta noted, “The personas involved.. an investigation by an independent agency is required…it is a matter of public confidence.”

The petition filed by the Maharashtra Government has sought direction for grant of appeal setting aside the order of the High Court allowing CBI to conduct an inquiry over the corruption allegations made through a letter written to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Whereas, the Special Leave Petition filed by Anil Deshmukh sought grant of leave appeal against the High Court order while allowing an ex-parte stay on the judgment of the Bombay HC on the grounds that no judicial order can be passed by any court without providing a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the persons likely to be affected by such order as held in the case of Devine Retreat Centre Vs. State of Kerala by the Supreme Court.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Maharashtra Government, submitted, “There are three very striking things in the judgment…when Jaishree Patil complained on 21st and then files a writ on 23rd (March), Whereas, Param Bir Singh lists on 31st (March), AG argues on maintainability and the order considered 3 things, i.e.  Maintainability, Admission and Interim order…without giving a chance to be heard the impugned order was passed…we deserve a chance to be heard on maintainability.”

“Your Lordships must have given us an opportunity to file counter,” Singhvi added.

Justice Kaul said this has happened because of everyone ignoring the Prakash Singh Judgment. “The allegation is very serious and it becomes curious and curious…The 2 personas working together until they fall apart (referring to the former Home Minister and the Police Commissioner).”

Singhvi further contended, “…it is a larger issue for the state, we were not heard…there were 3 PILs which were not decided but the Patil’s PIL order was passed.”

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Anil Deshmukh, submitted, “It is a complete mockery of Justice.” Sibal further asked the bench one fundamental question, that the order was against Anil Deshmukh, should he be heard?

Whereas, Justice Kaul said, “It is not about any political rival or anything else, it is about a very senior officer (Police Commissioner) working under you.”

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Sibal contended that they were ready for a hearing before High Court or the Supreme Court but not the CBI. “There has to be some admissible evidence which is reliable, however, this is all hear say,” Sibal added.

The bench, however, dismissed the petitions stating, “We are not inclined to interfere with the order.”  

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