HC to decide on maintainability of Param Bir Singh’s PIL on April 5

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On April 5, the Bombay High Court will pronounce its order on the public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by former Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into his allegations against Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

On March 20, Mr. Singh wrote a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging that Mr. Deshmukh had directed suspended police officer Sachin Vaze to collect ₹100 crore from bars and restaurants a month. The senior IPS officer then moved the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe into the matter. However, the top court directed him to move the Bombay High Court.

On March 31, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni heard the matter for over six hours and then reserved its order on whether the PIL petition is maintainable. The Bench had then questioned senior advocate Vikram Nankani representing the current Director General of Maharashtra Home Guard on why no FIR was filed against the Minister.

The Bench, on April 5, will also pronounce its order on other matters related to the case. One was a petition filed by advocate-in-person, Ghanshyam Upadhyay, seeking a court-monitored special investigation team to look into the letter. Another plea was filed by advocate Jaishri Patil seeking a probe by the CBI or the Enforcement Directorate into the letter. The third plea was filed by chartered accountant Mohan Bhide urging the court to form a committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to investigate the matter.

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