5 May 2021 12:34 PM GMT
The Maharashtra government, through the Additional Chief Secretary of the Home Department, has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court challenging certain portions of the FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation against former State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, calling those portions as ones trying to "destabilise the present government in Maharashtra." The petition...
The Maharashtra government, through the Additional Chief Secretary of the Home Department, has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court challenging certain portions of the FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation against former State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, calling those portions as ones trying to "destabilise the present government in Maharashtra."
The petition seeks to quash two paragraphs in CBI's FIR, which pertain to the reinstatement of Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze and alleged undue influence over the transfer of police officers.
The petition argues that the two paragraphs of the FIR were not mandated to be investigated as per April 5, 2021, Bombay High Court order and doing so without the State's consent was a flagrant violation of the law. It says the CBI is trying to initiate an inquiry into transfers and postings of officers by the government and it was to protect a selected few people and, therefore, unauthorised and unsustainable.
"This act of respondent CBI clearly demonstrates that the registration of FIR in issue, to the extent it is impugned by this petition, is clearly malafide. This is clearly intended to carry out fishing and roving inquiry into the administration of the State Government in order to try and find out some material enabling political groups that are presently not in power in the petitioner state, to try and destabilise the present government in the petitioner State," the petition of ACS (Home), Maharashtra, reads.
One of the paragraphs from the FIR mentions that the central agency, in its Preliminary Enquiry (PE), had found that former State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh was aware of the reinstatement of now suspended Assistant Police Inspector (API) Sachin Waze into the police after 15 years and sensitive and sensational cases being given to Waze for investigation. The second such paragraph states that Deshmukh and others exercised "undue influence" over the transfer and postings of police officers, as alleged by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
The petition says that CBI has violated section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act by initiating a probe into the two aspects. This section prohibits the agency from exercising its powers in a State which has revoked its consent for the CBI to operate, except with the leave of High Court or Supreme Court.
The CBI had registered an FIR on April 21, after the Bombay HC, in an order passed on April 5, allowed the agency to conduct a PE into the allegations levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. The HC passed an order on a petition filed by an advocate, who had sent a complaint to the Malabar Hill police station. The HC had granted the CBI liberty to decide the future course of action based on the findings of the PE.
The State has contended that the CBI could have registered the FIR only on subjects and issues in the complaint before the Malabar Hill police station. The State has said that CBI introduced these two issues beyond the HC directive and they were not even referred to in Singh's letter and/or the complaint filed by the lawyer at Malabar Hill Police station.
Three days after Param Bir Singh was transferred from Mumbai Police Commissioner's post to DG Home Guards in March this year, he wrote a letter to the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging that Deshmukh had asked Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every month from bars and restaurants in Mumbai. The National Investigation Agency later arrested Waze in the Ambani house terror scare case and the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran.
In its petition, the State government has also said that it does not want to interfere in the CBI probe against Deshmukh and others beyond these two allegations.