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Breaking: Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain Param Bir Singh's Plea Seeking CBI Probe Against Anil Deshmukh, Asks Him To Approach Bombay High Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
24 March 2021 6:54 AM GMT
Breaking: Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain Param Bir Singhs Plea Seeking CBI Probe Against Anil Deshmukh, Asks Him To Approach Bombay High Court
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Supreme Court bench comprising of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Subhash Reddy on Wednesday asked Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh to approach Bombay High Court with his plea seeking CBI investigation in the alleged corrupt malpractices of Anil Deshmukh, Home Minister of Government of Maharashtra.During the hearing, the Bench posed two questions to the petitioner. The Bench asked why...

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Supreme Court bench comprising of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Subhash Reddy on Wednesday asked Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh to approach Bombay High Court with his plea seeking CBI investigation in the alleged corrupt malpractices of Anil Deshmukh, Home Minister of Government of Maharashtra.

During the hearing, the Bench posed two questions to the petitioner. The Bench asked why a petition as been filed before Supreme Court under Article 32 rather than an Article 226 petition before the High Court. The Court further asked the petitioner as to why Mr Anil Deshmukh, the person against whom they have made serious allegations hasn't even been impleaded as a party.

Sr Adv Mukul Rohatgi submitted that he will will implead the party. Regarding maintainability of Article 32 plea he stated that it can be maintained where Art 226 can be maintained.

" Its a matter of serious proportions including entire state administration. NIA has come in to take up investigation of antilla case which is commented this case. The entire state and country is rocked. The scandal knows no bounds. "

Mr Rohatgi cited Prakash Singh's case, and submitted that the Court had said that for effecting senior police transfers without completing 2 years is serious issue and can be done only if he is facing probe.

"No State has affected police reforms. No body wants to do it, because no body wants to let go of the power" Justice Kaul said.

The Bench stated that issue isn't about the state, it is that the police reforms haven't taken place despite judgement in Prakash Singhs's case. Whenever some particular episode erupts people suddenly remember Prakash Singh's judgement.

"As you said, there is now another angle to it. The concerned parties were quite hunky dory for very long. Now having fallen apart, one is making allegation against the other. Its a serious matter no doubt. High Court is competent to deal with this issue." the Bench observed

Rohatgi stated that, that should not stop this court from considering it. Its matter of serious public interest for whole country.

"Agreed. But why not 226?" the Court asked.

Rohatgi stated that its rare that a police commissioner is transferred under this law that talks of administrative reasons, and the minister himself said this on TV that it wasn't done on administrative reasons.

Rohatgi submitted that, on much lesser issues, this court has entertained plea under Article 32. He cited cases of Bharti Ghosh and Arjun Singh where they were harassed while contesting in West Bengal, Hathras rape case, etc stating that these could have been handled by High Courts.

Justice Kaul stated that this is an issue where things seemed to be fine between the two personas, until something erupted in public glare. Now allegations are being made by both.

"If it has been entertained earlier, we can also make list of cases where it was relegated back to High Courts under Article 226" Justice Kaul remarked.

The Bench stated that it notices that the matter is serious and will record it too. But Article 226 has wide powers, and it has the power to hear petitioner's request of investigation by investigating agency.

Rohatgi requested the Court to issue direction that, the High Court takes up the matter tomorrow after a plea is filed by petitioner today. The reason is there is intrinsic evidence in form of cctv, etc in possession of ATS and not being handed over to NIA.

"Mr Rohatgi with your persuasiveness, persuade the High Court." Justice Kaul remarked.

"No doubt the matter is quite serious affecting administration at large. It appears lot of material has come in public domain due to personas falling apart." the Court noted

The Bench added " In view of this, counsel of petitioner will withdraw the writ with liberty to approach the HC. The liberty granted. They will file a plea today and would like matter to be taken tomorrow itself. That would be an appropriate prayer to be made before High Court and not this Court. "

Court also denied request made by an Applicant Amritpal Singh seeking live telecast of the case, due to wide political ramifications. He added that 2018 judgement has not been implemented

Singh has alleged that Anil Deshmukh had been interfering in various investigations and was instructing the police officers to conduct the same in a particular manner as desired by him.

"Each such act of Shri Anil Deshmukh in abuse of the official position of the Home Minister, whether in calling and directly instructing the police officers of lower rank such as Shri Vaze or Shri Patil for his malicious intent of extorting money from establishments across Mumbai and from other sources, or whether in interfering in the investigations & directing the same to be conducted in a particular manner, or whether indulging in corrupt malpractices in posting / transfers of officers, cannot be countenanced or justified in any democratic State. Fair CBI investigation is thus warranted in each of such acts of Shri Anil Deshmukh in abuse of the official position of the Home Minister".

It is also submitted that he had brought the aforesaid fact in the knowledge of the senior leaders and the Chief Minister of the Government of Maharashtra. Immediately thereafter, on 17.03.2021 an Order vide Notification of the Home Department bearing no. IPS-2021/Vol.No.107/Pol-1 was issued, by virtue of which, the Petitioner herein was transferred from the post of the Police Commissioner of Mumbai to the Home Guard Department in an arbitrary and illegal manner without the completion of the minimum fixed tenure of two years.

The transfer of the petitioner in the aforesaid circumstances is for reasons smeared with malice. Such transfer followed by adverse media publicity by said Shri Anil Deshmukh, is in violation of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India, in teeth of the law laid down in T.S.R. Subramanian v. Union of India, reported in (2013) 15 SCC 732, and in clear non-compliance with the provisions of Indian Police Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954 as amended in 2014. Further, the transfer of the Petitioner is also contrary to the law laid down in T.P. Senkumar v. Union of India, reported in (2017) 6 SCC 801 wherein it was held that transfer of an officer from a sensitive tenure post requires serious consideration and good reasons that can be tested.

Petitioner submitted that he is being merely made a scapegoat in the entire episode relating to Antilia bomb scare with oblique purposes and sinister motives, merely on speculations, conjectures and surmises.The decision to transfer the Petitioner from his posting as the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai is more of a political move with oblique purposes and sinister motives. It is submitted that the Petitioner was leading various important investigations and was at the cusp of unearthing startling discoveries.

Singh submitted that the Government of Maharashtra has already withdrawn consent for CBI investigations into the offences within the State of Maharashtra. Therefore, there is no other equally efficacious and expedient remedy save and except seeking such directions the writ petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. 


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