A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar reserved for orders Deshmukh petition seeking quashing of the FIR on July 12, 2021.
CBI had registered the FIR against Deshmukh and unknown others on April 21, 2021 under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and section 120B of the IPC for an attempt to obtain undue advantage for the improper and dishonest performance of public duty.
The FIR was backed by the Bombay HC order directing the agency to conduct a Preliminary Enquiry into the Rs. 100 crore corruption allegations against Deshmukh that were levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh in his letter to the Chief Minister on March 20, 2021.
However, Deshmukh’s ‘knowledge’ of now dismissed Assistant Police Inspector, Sachin Waze’s reinstatement in June 2020, is also part of CBI’s FIR. Waze is in prison in the Ambani Terror Scare – Mansukh Hiran Murder Case.
During the hearings, Justice Shinde repeatedly observed that “if true and practical meaning” is to be given to the High Court’s order directing the preliminary enquiry,” everyone’s role has to be investigated, not just one….”
The court said CBI must also investigate the committee that reinstated Waze into the police force in 2020, after he was suspended in 2003 due to his alleged involvement in a custodial death case. Ex- Mumbai Police Commissioner – Param Bir Singh – had headed the three-member committee that reinstated Waze.
The then “head of administration” cannot be “let off,” neither can he plead “innocence” that some executive told him to reinstate Waze, and he was helpless. Because it was his duty to prevent wrongdoings, the court observed.