The Supreme Court will on Thursday dismissed the pleas filed by the Maharashtra government and its former home minister Anil Deshmukh who had challenged the Bombay High Court order directing a CBI probe into the allegations of corruption and misconduct levelled against him by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
During the hearing, Justice SK Kaul said the allegations in the matter were "serious" and that the Home Minister and Police Commissioner were involved. "They are closely working together till they fall apart, both holding a particular position. Should CBI not probe? Nature of allegations and persons involved require independent probe," he noted.
Kapil Sibal, who was representing Deshmukh in the court, said there can be no preliminary inquiry without hearing the former home minister. "It’s only an inquiry on the basis of something akin to a press conference. It’s hearsay," Sibal said.
"It was not your (Anil Deshmukh) enemy, who made the allegations against you but it was done by the one who was almost your right-hand man (Param Bir Singh). The probe should be done against both," Justice Kaul observed.
The apex court said high officials of Maharashtra are involved in the matter.
Sibal said the law must be uniform for everyone. "It can’t be that just because the Police Commissioner has said something, his words become evidence," he said.
In its plea filed in the top court, the Maharashtra government had questioned the procedure adopted by high court saying the state was heard on the question of maintainability of the pleas seeking CBI investigation against Deshmukh on allegation of corruption, and the order too was reserved on that issue, but the court finally ended up directing the probe.
After the high court order on April 5, Deshmukh, a veteran politician from Vidarbha, had resigned from the state government.
In his appeal filed in the apex court, Deshmukh has said the high court order raises issues of seminal importance which “impact not just the federal structure of the country, impact on our polity, but also the manner in which, and the institutions through which investigations are to be conducted”. He said that without lodging an FIR, the court could have directed that an application be filed before the magistrate for investigation under section 156(3) of the CrPC.