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Bombay HC Questions Maharashtra Govt on Non Cooperation in Anil Deshmukh Probe

The court was hearing a CBI application alleging that the state had refused to share certain requisite documents.

Published
India
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>File Photo: Anil Deshmukh, former Home Minister of Maharashtra.</p></div>
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The Bombay High Court on Friday, 20 August, questioned the Maharashtra government over its refusal to share with the CBI certain documents concerning the ongoing corruption case against former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

The high court was hearing an application submitted by the CBI alleging that the state government was not co-operating in the case, and had refused to provide certain documents required by the investigative agency.

The CBI, in July, had sought the details of a communication sent to IPS officer Rashmi Shukla on the matter of corruption in police postings and transfers, but the State Intelligence Department had refused to share the document with the investigative agency, claiming that it was part of an ongoing probe, news agency PTI reported.

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Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh is facing a CBI investigation over the allegations of corruption and misuse of power made against him in a letter penned by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.

What Happening in the Hearing?

A bench of justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar, who had presided over the hearing on Friday, noted that the state government had previously indicated that it would welcome any investigation into the case against Anil Deshmukh.

"Now why is the state government averse? We don't have any words. Why should the state government do this?" Justice Shinde asked, PTI reported.

Justice Shinde further stated that documents relating to the period when Anil Deshmukh was holding the post of home minister may be required for the purpose of the probe, and that the government should not raise objections to the sharing of these.

"Unless the CBI sees the documents, how will they (CBI) decide if there is any nexus or not. We only said that the CBI does not have unfettered authority to probe into other transfers. But the documents they are seeking pertain to a report submitted by Rashmi Shukla (IPS officer) on the issue of corruption in police transfers," the high court was quoted as saying by PTI.

The state government, however, argued that the high court had not indicated that the government would be bound to provide the documents to the CBI. Advocate Rafiq Dada, appearing for the state, said that the CBI should look into only those aspects of the case that relate to Deshmukh and his associates.

The bench directed Dada to share the list of documents that the government would be willing to provide for the purpose of the investigation.

A further hearing of the matter has been posted for 24 August.

What is the Case?

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh in March had alleged that Anil Deshmukh had been involved in corruption, meddling in the police force’s functioning and manipulating transfers and postings in the state, among other charges. The former top cop had demanded a CBI investigation into his allegations.

In his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Param Bir Singh had stated that Deshmukh had held meetings in February 2021 with junior police officers, including Sachin Waze, who was arrested in relation to the Ambani bomb scare case, and instructed them to collect Rs 100 crore each month.

Following Singh's allegations, the CBI had filed an FIR over the charges of money laundering against Anil Deshmukh on 24 May.

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