Image: Live Law
The Bombay High Court has termed the petitions seeking independent probe into corruption allegations against Home minister Anil Deshmukh as being filed for “cheap publicity”. Last week about three petitions were filed in this regard, including one filed by Advocate Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil which was heard by a Division bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale on March 30.
LiveLaw has quoted the bench saying, “Prima facie we are of the opinion that such petitions are filed for cheap publicity”. The bench also, reportedly, pulled up the petitioner, Jaishri Patil for filing a shoddy petition saying, “You say you are a doctorate in criminology but please show us a single paragraph drafted by you. Your entire petition is based on extracting paragraphs from a letter”. The bench was referring to the letter sent by ex-Police Commissioner of Mumbai, Parambir Singh to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging corruption and extortion by Anil Deshmukh.
The court also questioned the locus standi of the petitioner and asked her why she had invoked extraordinary jurisdiction of the court.
During the hearing, Advocate General A.A. Kumbhakoni appearing for the state informed the court that a petition has been filed by Parambir Singh and is scheduled for urgent hearing before the Chief Justice on March 31. He informed the court that the State will be requesting the Registrar to club all these similar petitions together for hearing.
The petition filed by Jaishri Patil prayed that investigation should also be instituted against Singh, since, as a Head of Mumbai Police, he did not complain about these practices all this time. The petitioner has stated that she had submitted a complaint before the Malabar Hill Police Station but no FIR was registered and alleged that police authorities failed to exercise their power due to the “muscle power”, “money power” and “political power” of Anil Deshmukh. Another petition filed by RTI activist Hemant Patil seeks an FIR against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deshmukh and Singh for gross negligence in taking action against corruption.
Today, a bench headed by the Chief Justice, Dipankar Dutta will be hearing the petition filed by Parambir Singh seeking CBI probe against Anil Deshmukh alleging corrupt malpractices. Singh had first moved the Supreme Court but the court refused to entertain his petition and directed him to approach the Bombay High Court instead.
Meanwhile, the state government has orders judicial inquiry into allegations against Anil Deshmukh, and has appointed former Bombay High Court Judge KU Chandiwal to lead the inquiry and to submit a report within 6 months. NCP leader Sharad Pawar had earlier suggested former police Commissioner Julio Rubeiro to lead the inquiry but before he could be approached, he publicly made a statement that he would certainly not accept the offer.
The Bombay HC order may be read here: