Bombay HC directs CBI to conduct preliminary inquiry into letter against Anil Deshmukh

Param Bir Singh had written a letter to CM alleging that State HM Anil Deshmukh had directed suspended police officer Sachin Vaze to collect ₹100 crores over a month

The Bombay High Court has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the letter written by former Police Commisioner Param Bir Singh making allegations against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

Also read: Transferred after exposé of Home Minister: Ex-Mumbai police chief Param Bir

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and justice G.S. Kulkarni said “we have noted all the arguments… and much of the arguments revolved around FIR. We do not want to get involved in the aspects of maintainability (of plea)”.

The court said, “The resolution passed by the government for high-level committee leads us to believe that there is no interference required.”

The Bench remarked, “We agree with advocate Vikram Nankani (appearing for Mr. Singh) that it is unprecedented case before the court and Mr. Deshmukh is Home Minister who leads the police. There has to be independent inquiry. But CBI need not register FIR immediately.”

Also read: Pleas seek central agency probe into Param Bir’s allegations against Anil Deshmukh

Disposing of the plea, the Bench said, “The director of CBI is allowed to conduct preliminary inquiry in accordance with law and conclude it within 15 days. Once preliminary inquiry is complete, CBI director can be at discretion to take further course of action.”

Chief Justice Datta earlier asked, “You are seeking an investigation into what? Where is the FIR? What stopped you from approaching the police. We are prima facie of the opinion that without FIR there can be no investigation. In a PIL can any dispute related to service matters be adjudicated?”

On March 20, Mr. Singh had written a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging that Mr. Deshmukh directed suspended police officer Sachin Vaze to collect ₹100 crores from bars and restaurants over a month. The senior IPS officer then moved the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe into the matter. However, the Supreme Court directed him to move the Bombay High Court.

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