Justice Kaul observed that looking at the personas involved and the seriousness of allegations, an independent enquiry was called for. "You can't say it affects the federal structure. This does not happen everyday. Both (Param Bir Singh and Anil Deshmukh) have been heads of institutions where something has gone wrong," he said.
Anil Deshmukh vs CBI: In a major setback to the Maharashtra government, the Supreme Court today dismissed the pleas filed by the Maharashtra government and its former home minister Anil Deshmukh challenging the Bombay High Court order directing a CBI probe into allegations of extortion and bribery levelled against him by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh. After hearing arguments from both sides, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said that the nature of allegations and persons involved in the case “needs an enquiry by an independent agency”. “It is a matter of public confidence. We are not inclined to entertain this. Dismissed,” he said.
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Appearing for Anil Deshmukh, senior advocate Kapil Sibal argued that the CBI inquiry was ordered without giving his client an opportunity to put across his side. To this, Justice Gupta asked: “Does an accused have a right to be heard?” Sibal, however, said that the High Court had ordered a preliminary inquiry and at this stage Deshmukh was neither an accused nor a suspect. Sibal also said that a probe cannot be ordered based on heresay. He said that Param Bir Singh’s allegations were based on a conversation with two other officers but that had no evidentiary value.
Justice Kaul observed that looking at the personas involved and the seriousness of allegations, an independent enquiry was called for. “You can’t say it affects the federal structure. This does not happen everyday. Both (Param Bir Singh and Anil Deshmukh) have been heads of institutions where something has gone wrong,” he said. He also said that the “allegations are extremely serious and it becomes curious and curious”. “In this scenario is it not a CBI probe case?” he asked during the hearing. He further said that the two persons involved in this case were working together unless they fell apart. “Now an independent investigating agency needs to probe it,” he said