The government said that it did not intend to interfere with CBI's investigation but only wanted such portions deleted that did not confirm with the HC's order.
The Maharashtra government has filed a petition before the Bombay High Court alleging that some portions of the First Information Report (FIR) registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh were intended to “destabilise” the Shiv Sena-led ruling coalition in the State.
The state has sought that the CBI be directed to remove the said portions from its FIR.
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In its plea filed in the HC on April 30, the government claimed that the CBI, in the FIR, had included the issue of last year’s reinstatement of now suspended Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze, and transfers of some other police officers.
These issues were not part of the complaint registered against Deshmukh and former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh by lawyer Jaishri Patil, the state government said.
On April 5, the high court, while hearing a bunch of pleas, including one filed by Patil, had directed the CBI to initiate a preliminary inquiry into the allegations of misconduct and corruption made against Deshmukh by Singh.
Patil had registered a complaint following the allegations and sought that the alleged roles of both Deshmukh and Singh be probed.
Patil had earlier told the HC that she had lodged the complaint against both Deshmukh and Singh at the Malabar hill police station on March 21, but the police had failed to conduct a preliminary inquiry and register an FIR.
Patil had said in her complaint that both Deshmukh and Singh had acted in “breach of their professional duties during the entire episode”.
The HC had at the time said that the CBI must base its preliminary probe on Patil’s complaint and register an FIR if it felt that an offence was committed.
In its plea in the HC, the state government has said that Patil’s complaint and petition did not deal with Waze or any police transfers. The central agency, thus, could not have included those in its FIR, it said.
The plea said that the CBI’s FIR had travelled beyond the limits permitted by the High Court.
It said that the CBI had “demonstrated its intention to carry out fishing and a roving inquiry into the administration of the state government.”
The CBI has done so “in order to try and find out some material enabling political groups that are presently not in power in the Petitioner State, to try and destabilise the present government,” the plea submitted.
The government said that it did not intend to interfere with CBI’s investigation but only wanted such portions deleted that did not confirm with the HC’s order.
Transfer of officials and reinstatement of Waze fell within the administrative domain of the state, the petition said.
“Issues pertaining to transfer and posting of officials” cannot form a part of the investigation in the FIR,” it contended.
“None of the impugned paragraphs objected to by us disclose any cognizable offence contemplated by Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) of the Prevention of Corruption Act),” the petition reads.
The state has sought that in the interim, the HC restrain the CBI from acting in furtherance of the two paragraphs in the FIR that it has objected to.
The HC is yet to assign a date for hearing the plea.
Deshmukh had resigned after the HC ordered a CBI probe against him into allegations of corruption and misconduct levelled by Singh.
Deshmukh’s party, the NCP, is a key ally in the Shiv Sena-led government in which the Congress is also a partner.