The Bombay High Court on Thursday said that the CBI can investigate the transfer and posting of police personnel and reinstatement of former API Sachin Waje in the Mumbai Police force in so far as it has nexus with former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and him. Allies”.
A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar also said that it was the duty of the police commissioner to enforce the law of the land and that he is “not one’s servant, but the law itself”.
The HC in its judgment remarked that the corruption and misconduct allegations leveled against Mr Deshmukh by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh and if there was any favor (a favour) to the reinstatement of Sachin Vaze in 2020 after so many years of suspension /Benefit given in return for something), then it is a matter of investigation.
The court dismissed a petition filed by the Maharashtra government, seeking that the two paragraphs of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR against Mr Deshmukh be set aside.
While one paragraph is about the allegations (of extortion) leveled by former Assistant Inspector of Police (API) Sachin Waje against the NCP leader, who was dismissed from service after his arrest in the Antilia bomb case, the other is about transfers and postings. related to alleged corruption. of police officers.
“The investigating agency (CBI), in our view, can legitimately conduct its own investigation in the matter of transfer and posting of police personnel and reinstatement of Sachin Waje in the police force after 15 years, so far as there is nexus with the former The Home Minister and his associates,” the court said.
The bench observed that extortion of funds and attempts to influence investigation and transfer of special officers “are an inseparable part of the alleged conspiracy” to achieve these objectives.
The bench, while also commenting on the Commissioner of Police in its order, said, “The Commissioner of Police is not the servant of anyone but the law.”
“We consider it the duty of the police commissioner to enforce the law of the land and he should take steps to post his men so that crime can be traced and honest citizens can do their job,” the HC said. A judgment passed by Lord Denning, a famous judge of Britain.
Notably, when Mr. Deshmukh was the state’s home minister, senior IPS officer Param Bir Singh served as Mumbai’s police commissioner.
In March this year, Mr. Singh, in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, made allegations of corruption against Mr. Deshmukh.
The bench said the allegations leveled by Mr Singh in his letter against Mr Deshmukh were “not limited to lack of integrity in the performance of public duty, but the administration of law was put to a test of character”.
“The allegations are not limited to extortion of money. A case of interference in the performance of official duties by police officers, during investigations in special cases that, as alleged, tended to destroy the very building of law enforcement . .,” said the court.
On reinstatement of Sachin Vaze, the HC said, “Vaze had no opportunity to exercise his investigative skills for 15 years before reinstatement. Whether in posting Sachin Vaze to a special crime branch and handing over investigation of important cases And the sensational case is also a case which cannot be said to be completely unrelated to the allegations in Param Bir Singh’s letter.
The HC on Thursday said that, contrary to the observations made by another bench in its April 5 order, to direct the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry against Mr Deshmukh, the agency was given unfettered powers to investigate transfers. cannot be imposed. General deployment of police personnel.
“The CBI, a premier investigating agency, should be allowed to take responsibility and authority in the investigation and with the assurance that it (CBI) will act in accordance with the law,” the court said.
Senior advocate Rafiq Dada, appearing for the Maharashtra government, sought a stay of its decision from the high court for a period of two weeks.
However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on behalf of CBI opposed this.
The High Court refused to stay its decision saying, “We do not think that it is proper to stay the effect and operation of this judgment. Otherwise, it would amount to interference in the investigation, which is on-going.”
The CBI had registered an FIR against Mr Deshmukh on April 21 this year on charges of corruption and abuse of official position.
The agency had registered the FIR on April 5 after conducting a preliminary inquiry against the NCP leader following an order of the HC.
Sachin Vaze, who is now in jail, had claimed that he was asked to collect money from bar and restaurant owners in Mumbai, allegedly on the instructions of Mr Deshmukh, who has repeatedly denied the allegations against him.
The state government, in its plea, had contended that the issue of transfer and posting of police personnel and the allegations leveled by Sachin Waje against Mr Deshmukh were not relevant to the central agency’s case.
The state government claimed that it does not want to interfere with the CBI’s investigation against Mr Deshmukh and others beyond these two charges, whose investigation was not mandated by the High Court’s April 5 order.
The petition, filed by the state on April 30, said that the insertion of the above two articles is to find out some material by which the opposition parties may try to destabilize the present government in Maharashtra.
Mr Deshmukh had resigned from the cabinet after the HC directed the CBI to investigate the corruption and misconduct allegations leveled against him.
The NCP leader has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)