“Cheap Publicity”: HC raps Lawyer over plea seeking probe against State Home Minister

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On Tuesday, the High Court of Bombay rapped an Advocate over a plea seeking CBI probe against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh & Ex-Mumbai Police Chief Param Bir Singh, saying such petitions were often drafted for “cheap publicity”.

A bench of Justice SS Shinde & Justice Manish Pitale was hearing a petition filed by lawyer Jayshree Patil.

The Court said that “You have a doctorate in criminology. Show a single paragraph in your petition that you have drafted. Except extracting some paragraphs from a (Param Bir Singh’s) letter & taking some paragraphs from orders of Supreme Court, what is your contribution? What is your original pleading? What is your locus? We are of the opinion that such petitions are drafted for cheap publicity”.

In her plea, Jayshree Patil had sought a direction to the CBI or “any other independent agency” to conduct an “unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial & fair” probe in the “various corrupt malpractices of Anil Deshmukh” as alleged by Param Bir Singh.

In an 8-page letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh had alleged that Anil Deshmukh had asked Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested by the NIA in the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case, to collect Rs 100 crore every month, including Rs 40-50 crore from bars & restaurants in Mumbai. Deshmukh had denied these allegations.

On Tuesday, Patil told the High Court that she had also filed a complaint at Malabar Hill Police Station regarding the entire episode but an FIR had not been registered yet. Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told the bench the complaint was pending before the police station.

Ashutosh Kumbhakoni said that “But please look at the petition. Even the fonts have not been changed while copy-pasting. Such a shoddy work has been done by the petitioner”.

The AG told the bench that Param Bir Singh had also approached the HC & his petition would be taken up for hearing by the Chief Justice on Wednesday.

The High Court then asked Kumbhakoni to get all the pleas related to the issue clubbed together to avoid the possibility of inconsistent orders. Kumbhakoni said the Govt would move a request for clubbing all 4 petitions.

Apart from Param Bir Singh & Jayshree Patil, separate petitions have been filed by Pune activist Hemant Patil & advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay seeking investigation by independent agencies like CBI or SIT into the issue. The HC is likely to hear Patil’s plea on April 1.