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'Anil Deshmukh Not Mandatorily Entitled To Be Heard In Individual Capacity For A Preliminary Inquiry' : Supreme Court

Radhika Roy
8 April 2021 4:07 PM GMT
Anil Deshmukh Not Mandatorily Entitled To Be Heard In Individual Capacity For A Preliminary Inquiry : Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court on Thursday held that, even for a preliminary inquiry, there was no necessity to mandatorily hear former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in his individual capacity, as the State Government was represented and he was a Minister at that time.

A Bench of Justices SK Kaul and Hemant Gupta, while dismissing the appeals filed by Maharashtra Government and Anil Deshmukh against the Bombay High Court direction for a preliminary inquiry by the CBI into allegations raised by Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, refused to accept the contention of Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal that even for directing a preliminary inquiry, Deshmukh was mandatorily entitled to be heard in his individual capacity.

The question as to whether a suspect could be heard before a preliminary inquiry had been raised by Justice Gupta. In response to the same, Sibal referred to a judgement rendered by Justice Kaul and submitted that the reason he had been made a party to the case was to hear him.

"You cannot make him a party and then pass an order without hearing. A preliminary inquiry was ordered without hearing me. I was made a party for what reason? To put my version on record? My version was supposed to prove whether there was any prosecutorial basis. I am not saying there should not be any preliminary inquiry. But at least hear me and see what I have to say", argued Sibal.

Sibal's submissions were however rejected by the Court. In its Order, the Court noted,

"…we are unable to accept the contention of Mr. Kapil Sibal, learned senior counsel that even for directing a preliminary inquiry, the petitioner Mr. Anil Deshmukh is mandatorily entitled to be heard in his individual capacity even though the State Government was represented and he was a Minister at that time".

The Court accordingly refused to interfere with the impugned Order.

Click here to read/download the order

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