KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 4/9/2021 12:50:55 AM

NEW DELHI, Apr 8: In a setback to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with the Bombay High Court judgment, allowing CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the allegations of corruption levelled against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
Dismissing appeals of both Deshmukh and the Maharashtra government, a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta said the nature of allegations and persons involved requires an independent probe.
“The nature of allegations and personas involved needs an enquiry by an independent agency. It is a matter of public confidence. We are not inclined to entertain this. Dismissed,” the Court said.
The hearing began only at the fag end of the day after senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Anil Deshmukh and the Maharashtra government respectively, told the court that the High Court passed the order permitting CBI probe without hearing Deshmukh against whom the allegations of corruption have been levelled.
When Singhvi pointed out that the High Court did not address the question of maintainability of the petitions before it, Justice Kaul said, “Allegations are extremely serious and they became curious and curious. In this scenario, is it not a CBI probe case?”
On Singhvi pointing out that the Maharashtra government had withdrawn general consent to CBI probes in the State long ago and the central investigating agency can probe cases in Maharashtra only with the consent of the state government or on the orders of High court or the top court, Justice Kaul said, “He (Deshmukh) did not resign when commission of inquiry was ordered. … He was clinging to his office... You can't say it affects the federal structure. This does not happen every day. Both (Deshmukh and ex-CP) have been heads of institutions where something has gone wrong.”
Sibal told the court that allegations made against a minister without any supporting evidence cannot become subject of a CBI probe.
not supported by evidence, can a CBI probe be ordered.
Both the Maharashtra government and Deshmukh had moved the top court on Tuesday, challenging the Bombay High Court order on Monday, allowing the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the allegations of corruption levelled against Deshmukh.
As an interim relief Deshmukh had sought a stay of the High Court order permitting CBI to hold a preliminary probe into the allegations of corruption levelled by former Mumbai police top cop Singh.



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