“Can they say they didn’t know about his past?” the bench asked CBI
THE Bombay High Court on Monday asked if Mumbai Police officers, who were behind the reinstatement of former Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze in the service, could claim impunity on the ground that they were unaware of his past records and antecedents. A bench of Justices SS Shinde and N J Jamadar said that if one were to get into the “root” of the allegations of corruption made against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, one would prima facie see that Waze had been collecting the extortion money that Deshmukh allegedly asked him to. “However, who was behind reinstating Waze into the city police force, the bench asked? “Can they say they didn’t know about his past?” the bench asked.
The bench posed the question to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducting an inquiry against Deshmukh following allegations of corruption levelled against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. The bench said it was saying, “at the cost of repetition,” that the CBI must not exclude any guilty party out of its probe. “At the cost of repeating, we are saying that the investigation must be against all involved. The normal way is that as long as things are going well, no one says anything.
Once a transfer happens, all sorts of allegations are made,” the bench said. “If we get into the root of this matter, Waze was collecting money. So who was behind his reinstatement? Can someone now say that he was not aware of Waze’s past, his record etc. (while reinstating him)? That is why we are saying again and again that this episode was not a one-man thing. The crux of the HC order (directing a preliminary inquiry into the allegations) is to instil public confidence,” the HC said. The High Court’s observations came while it was hearing a plea filed by Deshmukh seeking that the FIR registered by the CBI against him be quashed. He had denied the allegations against him. Deshmukh’s counsel, senior advocate Amit Desai had said that the CBI probe was illegal since the agency had failed to take prior sanction to prosecute Deshmukh, who was at the time a public servant.