In Anil Deshmukh corruption case, SC asks Param Bir Singh to approach Bombay HC first
In response to the investigation plea filed by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh against Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, Supreme Court asked the plaintiff to first approach Bombay High Court for justice. Singh’s lawyer Mukul Rohatgi said, “The matter needs urgent hearing as evidence might be destroyed.” To his plea, the Supreme Court replied, “We agree it’s a serious matter affecting administration at large. We grant liberty to move the high court.”
Singh reached out to the apex court demanding an “impartial and fair investigation” by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the “various corrupt malpractices” of the senior NCP leader. He also challenged his transfer to Home Guard, stating that he was transferred as he was coming in the way of the state minister who wanted to control the probe into the explosive-laden vehicle found near Reliance-owner Mukesh Ambani’s residence.
In a letter addressed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, earlier this week, Singh accused Deshmukh of setting a target for police officials to accumulate ₹ 100 crores per month. Singh added that the State home minister pressurized, recently arrested police officer, Sachin Vaze and other police officials to collect the said amount from Mumbai bars and hotels. Vaze was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) over his alleged involvement in the death of Mansukh Hiran, a man whose explosives-filled SUV was found outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house.
A bench of justices, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R Subhash Reddy, who looked into the case said that the allegations and counter-allegations levied on Deshmukh and Singh seemed to be an outcome fallout between the parties, who earlier as per the record had been “hunky-dory” for a long time. The court said, “We’ve no doubt that the matter is quite serious and affects the administration at large. It also appears that a lot of material which has come in the public domain is a consequence of the personas falling out.”
Supreme Court also asked the senior advocate, who represented Singh, why he did not make the accused leader a party to the case and told him to approach High Court first with the plea. The court said, “If probe by an independent agency is being sought for, that is a relief which can also be granted by the high court. There have also been subsequent developments in the matter as has been noticed in terms of the report of Rashmi Shukla, commissioner, state intelligence department. The HC has the requisite authority to address the same.”
Following the top court’s statement, Rohatgi said that he would withdraw the application from SC and file it in Bombay HC on Wednesday itself.