CBI updates Bombay HC on IPS officer's complaint about corruption

An outside view of CBI headquarters, in New Delhi, on Wednesday Photo: PTI

The CBI on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court that it would not act till June 9 on letters that it sent to the Maharashtra government seeking documents pertaining to complaints lodged by senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla about alleged corruption in police postings and transfers.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the CBI, made the statement before a vacation bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and S P Tavade, which was hearing a petition filed by the state government.

The government had sought a direction to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to set aside and not carry out any investigation with regard to two paragraphs from the FIR lodged by the agency on April 21 against former home minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh.

The CBI had lodged the FIR after conducting a preliminary enquiry against NCP leader Deshmukh following an order from the HC on April 5.

While one paragraph is about allegations levelled against Deshmukh by Sachin Waze, who has been dismissed from police service, the second paragraph pertains to corruption in transfers and postings of police officials.

On Wednesday, Raju told the vacation bench that the state government's petition ought to be heard by the same bench which passed the April 5 order, as it pertains to the scope of that order.

Justice Kathawalla said he does not have any objection if the matter is heard by the bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni (which passed the April 5 order), but until then the CBI should "hold its hand" with regard to information sought from the state government in the probe.

We will hold our hands with regard to the production of documents sought by the CBI from the Maharashtra government until this petition is placed before the other bench. This would be only with regard to details sought from the state government and not the entire probe, Raju said.

The court accepted the statement and directed the HC's registry office to place the petition before the bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni on June 8.

It is made clear that the statement made by the CBI will continue up to June 9, the court said.

Senior counsel Rafique Dada, appearing for the state government, last week told the court that the CBI had sought details and copies of the letter written by Shukla to the government with regard to allegations of corruption in transfers and postings of police officials.

He said these documents were confidential in nature and hence, cannot be shared. He had claimed that the CBI was using its FIR against Deshmukh as a pretext to inquire into the entire state administration.

One of the paragraphs, which the government has challenged, said the central agency in its Preliminary Enquiry (PE) had found that former state home minister Anil Deshmukh was aware of the reinstatement of now suspended assistant police inspector (API) Sachin Waze into the police after 15 years and sensitive and sensational cases being given to Waze for investigation.

Waze is presently behind bars after being arrested by the NIA for his alleged role in the case of an explosives-laden vehicle found near the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai and the subsequent killing of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran.

The second paragraph, challenged by the government, stated that Deshmukh and others exercised undue influence over the transfer and postings of police officers as alleged by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh.

The state government in its plea claimed it does not want to interfere in the CBI probe against Deshmukh and others beyond these two allegations, which were not mandated to be investigated as per the April 5 HC order.

Shukla is currently serving as additional director general of the Central Reserve Police Force''s (CRPF) South Zone and is posted in Hyderabad.

The Mumbai cyber police last week recorded her statement in connection with a case of illegal phone tapping and alleged leaking of sensitive documents related to police postings.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel