The Bombay High Court has denied any relief to the Maharashtra government in their petition against CBI in former state home minister Anil Deshmukh’s case.
The bench said: “Considering the totality of circumstances, including the conduct of the petitioner, no case for relief has been made out. No case has been made out for the withdrawal of the CBI probe, and the formation of a Special Investigation Team. Our comments on the conduct are not to be seen as the state of Maharashtra’s conduct and bona-fide in general, but only as a party to this case.”
The Maharashtra Government had earlier sought a court-monitored investigation by a special investigation team (SIT) against Anil Deshmukh, who is facing a CBI probe under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The state had also objected to the probe against Deshmukh as CBI director Subodh Kumar Jaiswal was heading it. Maharashtra government had claimed that Jaiswal is the former DGP of Maharashtra and is part of the Police Establishment Board (PEB) that oversees the transfer and postings of police officers. Hence, it argued, the probe could not be impartial.
Anil Deshmukh is under the lens over his alleged role in the ‘cash for transfer’ case. It has been alleged that several police officers in Maharashtra were transferred to favourable positions in exchange for cash.
Rashmi Shukla, an IPS officer, had carried out technical surveillance on six persons and submitted a report against some senior politicians, middlemen and police officers who allegedly sought posting for themselves. As per the report, the alleged police officers had paid money to the middlemen for transfers and postings while working closely with politicians.
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The cover letter of the report was distributed by BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis. Following this, questions were raised regarding whether Rashmi Shukla had permission for the surveillance of the six officers. Fadnavis had claimed that Shukla had permission from the then Additional Chief Secretary of State Home Department.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said, “The prayers for quashing and no coercive step is rejected. However, if the Maharashtra government intends to take any coercive step, then 7 days’ notice must be given to Rashmi Shukla.”