File image of CM Uddhav Thackeray with Anil Deshmukh (PTI Photo)
The Supreme Court of India on April 8 dismissed the pleas filed by Maharashtra government and its former home minister Anil Deshmukh challenging a Bombay High Court order ordering a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the allegations of corruption levelled against Deshmukh by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
The top court observed that the nature of the allegations and the persons involved merit an independent probe by the central agency.
"The nature of allegations and personas involved needs an enquiry by independent agency. It is a matter of public confidence. We are not inclined to entertain this. Dismissed," the SC bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta said in the order, according to the legal news website Bar & Bench.
The Maharashtra government and Deshmukh had approached the Supreme Court to challenge Bombay High Court order directing a CBI probe into the allegations of corruption and misconduct levelled against Deshmukh by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government was represented by senior Congress leader and advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi in the apex court.
Singhvi said during the hearing on April 8 that the high court had failed to address the question of maintainability of the petitions before it.
"All these problems are arising because of the fall out that has happened. Allegations are extremely serious and it becomes curious and curious. In this scenario is it not a CBI probe case ? " Justice Kaul said in response
The Bombay high court, on April 5, ordered a preliminary inquiry to be conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the allegations of illegal transfers and extortion levelled against Deshmukh.
Following the Bombay HC order, Deshmukh submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The embattled Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, in his resignation note, said he is stepping down on "moral grounds" till the completion of the probe.
Shortly after Deshmukh's resignation was confirmed, NCP leader Dilip Walse-Patil was announced as the next Maharashtra Home Minister.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the prime opposition party in the state, demanded Thackeray to "break his silence" on the issue.
Earlier in the day, Union Cabinet Minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar launched a scathing attack on the Maharashtra government in the wake of suspended cop Sachin Vaze's letter and demanded resignation of MVA government headed by Uddhav Thackeray.
Javadekar's remark comes after a letter written by Sachin Vaze to the Special NIA Judge came into the public domain in which he made certain allegations.
Javadekar termed the MVA as Maha Vasooli Aghadi, and alleged that the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the coalition government is 'collect money through police'.
"The allegations in the letter are serious. look at Sena's response now. Is anything happening apart from loot? If you have come to power for loot, then the public will have to show its power," he said.