Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

BREAKING : Supreme Court Dismisses Ex-Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's Plea To Quash CBI FIR In Corruption Case

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
18 Aug 2021 11:25 AM GMT
BREAKING : Supreme Court Dismisses Ex-Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukhs Plea To Quash CBI FIR In Corruption Case
x
Arguments regarding need for sanction under Section 17A PC Act for CBI FIR were raised on behalf of Deshmukh.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's petition seeking to quash the FIR registered by the CBI over the corruption allegations raised by ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.A division bench comprising Justices DY Chandrahcud and MR Shah was considering the special leave petition filed by the Deshmukh challenging the July...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
10% discount
999
899+GST
(150 INR per month)
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Ad Free Content
  • Special And Exclusive Stories First Available To Subscribers only
  • Copy Of Judgments/ Orders With Every Reports
  • Copy Of Petitions (Subject to Consent From Concerned Lawyers)
  • Weekly Round Ups Of Supreme Court High Court Judgments/Orders
  • Monthly Digests Of Supreme Court And High Courts
  • Yearly Digests Of Supreme Court And High Courts
  • Live Updates Of Supreme Court And High Courts Hearings
  • WhatsApp Updates
  • News Letters
Already a subscriber?
Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
1,499+GST
(For 1 Year)
Premium account gives you:
  • Ad Free Content
  • Special And Exclusive Stories First Available To Subscribers only
  • Copy Of Judgments/ Orders With Every Reports
  • Copy Of Petitions (Subject to Consent From Concerned Lawyers)
  • Weekly Round Ups Of Supreme Court High Court Judgments/Orders
  • Monthly Digests Of Supreme Court And High Courts
  • Yearly Digests Of Supreme Court And High Courts
  • Live Updates Of Supreme Court And High Courts Hearings
  • WhatsApp Updates
  • News Letters
Already a subscriber?

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's petition seeking to quash the FIR registered by the CBI  over the corruption allegations raised by ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.

A division bench comprising Justices DY Chandrahcud and MR Shah was considering the special leave petition filed by the Deshmukh challenging the July 22 judgment of the Bombay High Court which had dismissed his petition seeking to quash the CBI FIR.

The bench dismissed the petition after hearing Senior Advocate Amit Desai for Deshmukh and Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi for over 2 hours. The bench also had a brief interaction with the complainant in the case, Dr Jaishree Patil.

The main point raised by Desai was that the CBI required the sanction of the state government under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act to register the FIR. He pointed out that the April 5 order of the Bombay High Court had only directed the CBI to do a preliminary enquiry into the matter, and the CBI was required to "act in accordance with law" on the basis of the result of the preliminary enquiry.

It was Desai's argument that the condition "in accordance with law" meant that the CBI had to seek the sanction of the state government under Section 17A of the PC Act before registering the FIR.

However, the bench expressed doubts regarding the validity of this argument. The bench asked if the requirement of Section 17A sanction will come if it is an investigation directed by the Court.

Justice Chandrachud pointed out that there are precedents stating that the sanction of state under Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act is not needed for CBI investigation when it is done under the orders of a court. Why won't the same principle apply with respect to Section 17A as well, the judge asked.

Desai replied that the requirement of Section 6A DSPE was a principle of federalism, whereas Section 17A PC Act was related to the protection of the rights of an accused. He insisted that there is a thin line of distinction between the two concepts. The court cannot take away the statutory rights of an individual even while acting under its writ jurisdiction, he argued.

In response, the bench observed that the purpose of Section 17A PCA was to protect a public servant from undue harassment by frivolous and vexatious complainants. When a court has applied its mind, it means that the accused is protected from such undue harassment.

"The fact that the court has applied its minds subserves the purpose of Section 17A. The same principle which underlies the court-monitored investigation, as regards 6A of DSPE, won't it apply as far as Section 17A is concerned? The application of mind by court, won't it ensure that the public servant is not unduly harassed", Justice Chandrahcud asked.

Justice Chandrachud also expressed that the insisting sanction under Section 17A can defeat the ends of justice in a situation where a court is compelled to order CBI investigation due to lack of confidence in state police.

"Why investigation is ordered in the first place? Because the state can't be trusted. If you say you still have to abide by 17A, that will defeat the ends of justice. State govt will never grant sanction. If state had to give sanction, it would have investigated the case in the first place", Justice Chandrahcud remarked.

Justice Shah pointed out that the High Court ordered a preliminary enquiry by the CBI to ensure that the rights of the accused are protected to the maximum extent.

ASG Aman Lekhi, refuting Desai's arguments, submitted that Section 17A was not applicable in a situation of a court-ordered investigation. As regards the reliance placed by Desai on the judgment of Justice KM Joseph in the Rafale Review case (Yashwant Sinh and others vs Union of India and others), the ASG argued that the question of Section 17A did not arise in that case and was not dealt with by the majority. Hence, Justice Joseph's opinion holds no binding value, the ASG submitted.

Towards the end of the day, the bench expressed that it was not inclined to entertain the petition. The bench asked Desai if he wanted the bench to deliver a detailed judgment answering the issues raised or a simple dismissal. Desai sought a one minute break to get instructions on this aspect.

"In criminal matters, one tends to take the practical approach", Desai responded after returning. The bench said that it will reserve the larger questions of law to be decided in another case.

Following this, the bench dictated a short order to dismiss the petition, without recording elaborate reasons. Earlier in the day, the same bench had dismissed the State of Maharashtra's petition challenging the CBI investigation into the transfers and postings done by Deshmukh.

Next Story
Share it