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HC dismisses Maharashtra govt's plea challenging CBI summons in case against Anil Deshmukh

'Considering the totality of circumstances, including the conduct of the petitioner, no case for relief is made out'
Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh
Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh
File picture

Our Bureau, PTI   |   Mumbai   |   Published 15.12.21, 04:58 PM

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by the Maharashtra government raising a grievance against the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) summons in its probe against former state home minister Anil Deshmukh and seeking the formation of an independent Special Investigation Team (SIT).

The Maharashtra government had demanded setting up of an SIT in its plea filed earlier this year to challenge and seek quashing of the CBI summons issued to former state chief secretary Sitaram Kunte and present Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Pandey, asking them to report to the central agency in Delhi for answering questions related to Deshmukh.


The CBI is conducting a probe into allegations of misconduct and corruption made against NCP leader Deshmukh earlier this year by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.

On Wednesday, a bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and SV Kotwal dismissed the Maharashtra government's plea, saying the state had failed to make a case for grant of relief.

"Considering the totality of circumstances, including the conduct of the petitioner (Maharashtra government), no case for relief is made out," the high court said.

The HC further said, "There's no case made out for withdrawal of the CBI probe, and formation of an SIT."

The court, however, said its comments on the state's conduct must not be "seen as the state of Maharashtra's conduct and bona-fide in general, but only as a party to this case".

The state government had approached the HC through senior counsel Darius Khambata, arguing that the CBI's summons issued to Kunte and Pandey were malafide.

Kunte is currently the principal advisor to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Khambata had said DGP Sanjay Pandey, who was summoned by the CBI, had nothing to do with Deshmukh's case and was summoned as a harassment tactic by the agency.

He had also argued that the CBI's own director, Subodh Jaiswal, was Maharashtra's DGP during Deshmukh's tenure as home minister and therefore, Jaiswal was a potential subject of the central agency's ongoing probe.

Khambata claimed that because the CBI had found Jaiswal to be "in the eye of the storm", it had hurriedly pinned the entire blame on Deshmukh in the case.

He urged the HC to transfer the probe into the case to an SIT instead, and to appoint a retired judge to monitor the probe.

The CBI's counsel, Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, had opposed Khambata's arguments and said there was no malafide in the agency's probe.

He said Deshmukh was being probed not because of Jaiswal's whim, but following the Bombay HC's order of April 5.

Deshmukh, who resigned as the state home minister in April this year, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) last month in connection with a multi-crore money laundering case. He is currently in judicial custody.

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