Bombay HC refuses to cancel FIR against Anil Deshmukh corruption case

NCP leader states that the ongoing CBI inquiry against him was illegal since the central agency had not taken prior sanction from the Maharashtra government to prosecute him.

IMG SRC: news18

The Bombay high court on Thursday, July 22, refused to quash the First Information Report (FIR) lodged by the CBI against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh on charges of corruption and misconduct.

Senior advocate Amit Desai, appearing for Deshmukh, argued that the case involved important questions of law that need to be studied for taking appropriate steps. However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the CBI, contended that no question of law was involved.

Desai told the High Court that the CBI had failed to obtain approval under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act from the Maharashtra government before beginning their court-ordered preliminary inquiry. He said that this made the entire inquiry illegal.

“We live in a society with the presumption of dishonesty,” Deshmukh’s counsel said, reported Live Law. “Therefore, an allegation becomes enough.”

On March 20, former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh had accused Deshmukh of extorting money from bars, restaurants, and hookah parlors in Mumbai.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh wrote suspended police officer Sachin Vaze told him that Deshmukh had asked him to collect Rs 100 crore every month through illegal channels

Desai said that the CBI spoke about extortion but the FIR did not include any section on extortion. The advocate said that it could be presumed that the CBI did not find any evidence of extortion and so it was not mentioned in the FIR.

He also argued that the FIR does not disclose a cognizable offense, as it contains no facts and only unfounded allegations. On the restrictions under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Lekhi said that it would not apply as the CBI was following the High Court’s order and that Deshmukh’s actions were not part of his official duty.

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