Preliminary enquiry against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to be carried out by CBI.

The Bombay High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to initiate a preliminary inquiry within 15 days into the letter by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh containing allegations of corruption against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by Mr. Singh seeking an independent CBI probe into his March 20 letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and a criminal writ petition by advocate Jaishri Patil, filed the next day, with the Malabar Hill Police Station and Director, Anti-Corruption Bureau of the CBI. The court said a probe by an independent agency was necessary to “instil public confidence and safeguard the Fundamental Rights of the citizens. The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni said this was an “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” case that warranted an independent inquiry. It directed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s director to complete the preliminary inquiry within 15 days and then take a decision on further course of action. The bench was presiding over three public interest litigations, including one filed by Singh himself, another by city-based lawyer Jayshree Patil, and the third by teacher Mohan Bhide, seeking various reliefs. The bench disposed of all the three pleas.

It has also observed that once the preliminary inquiry is completed, the Director, CBI, shall be at liberty to decide on the future course of action, also in accordance with law.

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