The CBI had sought certified copies of a letter by senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla addressed to the Maharashtra director general of police in August 2020 on transfers and postings, its annexures, digital devices and a panchnama.
The Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court on Thursday that it would provide CBI with documents including a letter or report by senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla regarding alleged corruption in transfers and postings of police officers by August 31. This is in connection with the central agency’s investigation into allegations of corruption against former home minister Anil Deshmukh.
A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N J Jamadar was hearing an application filed by the CBI stating that the state government was not cooperating in handing over documents. The government had opposed the CBI’s request by stating that it amounted to a ‘roving enquiry and a fishing exercise’ about documents that were not in the scope of the CBI’s probe. The government had also said that it amounted to interference in its probe being conducted in an FIR filed by cyber police under the Official Secrets Act in connection with the alleged leak of documents on call interceptions.
The CBI had sought certified copies of a letter by Shukla addressed to the Maharashtra director general of police in August 2020 on transfers and postings, its annexures, digital devices and a panchnama. Senior counsel Rafique Dada, representing the Maharashtra government, told the court that while the other documents will be provided, the panchnama could not be provided as it is part of its ongoing probe.
Additional solicitor general Anil Singh said that the panchnama would only be in reference to the chain of events on the handling of the report but Dada said that it was not relevant to the central agency’s probe.
While taking the state government’s submission on record, the bench observed that such matters should not reach the court ideally. “…the state and the CBI, such matters need not come before the court. On many occasions, the state and the CBI share documents and information especially on intra-state issues, when offences are spread over states,” the bench said adding that the reputation of Maharashtra as a pioneer state has been since Independence and it should be maintained. Dada told the court that the highest authority of the state, referring to the chief minister, was in favour of transparency.
The CBI began a probe against Deshmukh in April following orders of the Bombay High Court to conduct a preliminary inquiry after corruption allegations against him.