The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed former Maharashtra Minister Anil Deshmukh’s plea, requesting the Central Bureau of Investigation to produce its preliminary inquiry report against him, Live Law reported.
In April, the Central Bureau of Investigation had filed a case against Deshmukh after former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh claimed that the minister coerced police officers to extort money from the owners of bars and restaurants in the city.
The central agency is also investigating Deshmukh for exercising “undue influence” over the transfer and postings of police officers.
Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Deshmukh, on Thursday said that the preliminary report did not mention a cognisable offence against the Nationalist Congress Party leader, based on which the court had taken up the matter.
Sibal added that the petitioner wanted to invoke Article 32 (right to constitutional remedies) of the Constitution, seeking directions to the Central Bureau of Investigation to produce the records.
The court, however, refused to interfere saying that the petitioner was trying to invoke Article 32 based on certain media reports, which claimed that Deshmukh had been cleared of charges.
“It is always open for the petitioner to approach the competent court,” it said.
On Monday, Deshmukh was sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court. Earlier this month, the former Maharashtra minister was sent to the Enforcement Directorate’s custody till November 12 in a money laundering case.
Meanwhile, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said that those who played a role in levelling allegations against Deshmukh will “pay the price”, the Hindustan Times reported.
Pawar claimed that former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh had complained to him about Deshmukh’s instructions to extort money.
“Then I asked him [Singh] if he carried out the instructions,” Pawar said. “He said he did not. I am unable to understand what Deshmukh’s crime was if his so-called instructions were not carried out in the first place.”
A magistrate’s court in Mumbai on Wednesday declared the former Mumbai Police chief a “proclaimed offender” in the extortion case. According to Section 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code, proclaimed offenders are accused persons who have a warrant against them and are absconding. Under the section the court can issue a notice to proclaimed offenders to appear within 30 days.
The former Mumbai Police commissioner also faces four cases of extortion in Maharashtra.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court said that Singh will not be granted protection from investigations until the absconding officer discloses his whereabouts. The court was hearing a plea challenging two preliminary inquiries initiated against the police officer by the Maharashtra government