The Bombay High Court’s bench comprising of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamdar Thursday adjourned to June 18 the hearing on a plea by the Maharashtra government seeking to quash certain paragraphs of the FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the former Home Minister of the state, Anil Deshmukh.
The bench also allowed advocate Jayshree Patil, the original complaintant, to file an intervention application in the matter.
Senior Advocates Darius Khambata and Rafique Dada appeared for the State government, along with Advocates Deepak Thakare and Akshay Shine.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the CBI, along with Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh.
The State’s plea challenges paragraphs 4 and 5 of the CBI’s FIR. CBI had filed this FIR following an inquiry conducted after the Bombay HC directed an inquiry based on the petition filed by lawyer Dr. Jayshree Patil.
Dada submitted that after former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh was transferred, he had made allegations against the ex-Home Minister Anil Singh, in a letter addressed to the Chief Minister. He, Ghanshyam Upadhyay, and Mohan Bhide had filed petitions at the Bombay High Court.
In the interim, a writ petition was also filed by Patil. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice Kulkarni, on March 31, heard all three matters for interim relief and passed the relevant orders on April 5. It was after this order that the CBI began its investigation and registered the impugned FIR.
Dada contended that the CBI could not investigate matters in any state without its consent, as a result of which it could not conduct an investigation and file an FIR in the matter without the consent of the State of Maharashtra.
Patil’s preliminary objection was that Sachin Waze, an ex-assistant police officer, had not been made a party to the matter and that the State had no basis to file this petition suo moto. She mentioned that Waze had made serious accusations in court and was currently being held in judicial custody, making him a critical party to the matter. She mentioned that the State was filing the matter to protect Sachin Waze, which it could not do.
SG Tushar Mehta submitted that he had similar objections, contending that the State had no locus in this matter. He stated that the State could not file a 482 petition pre-emptively, expecting an investigation against some individual.
Dada insisted that the State be provided with a pleading from Patil, to not be taken by surprise.
The Court granted Patil time till Monday 14 June to file an intervention application, and the CBI time till Friday 18 June to file a response. The State submitted that it would respond to Patil’s application by Wednesday 16 June.
The matter will now be heard on Friday, 18 June 2021.
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The article was originally published in The Leaflet.