The Bombay High Court on Thursday, 6 May, refused to grant interim relief to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in the case registered against him by the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) on allegations of corruption and malpractices levelled against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
Deshmukh had moved the High Court on 3 May seeking to quash the FIR registered by the central agency against him in the case, which stated that preliminary enquiry (PE) prima facie revealed that Deshmukh and unknown persons attempted to obtain "undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of his public duty".
Stating that the CBI had received the copy of the petition filed by Deshmukh only on 5 May, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh appearing for the CBI stated that he required time take instructions in the matter.
In response, Senior Advocate Amit Desai, appearing for Deshmukh, stated that the court can grant interim protection to Deshmukh while the CBI filled a reply; which led to Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale refusing to grant interim protection to the former home minister, stating that no such action can take place without hearing the respondents.
The Bombay HC Bench also adjourned the matter granting four weeks’ time to the CBI to file a reply. They also granted liberty to Deshmukh to move the vacation bench in the event of extreme urgency after giving a 48-hour notice to the CBI about any such mentioning.
Why Has Param Bir Singh Taken Deshmukh to Court?
Param Bir Singh had accused Deshmukh of corruption, meddling in the police forces’ functionings, and manipulating transfers and postings in the state. He had demanded a CBI probe into his allegations.
Singh made these allegations while he challenged his transfer to the Home Guard Department by the Maharashtra government, in the backdrop of the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case and his alleged proximity with former API Sachin Vaze, who was arrested in the case.
Singh had also claimed that Deshmukh held meetings in February 2021 with junior police officers, including Vaze, and instructed them to accumulate Rs 100 crore every month.