The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea by the Maharashtra government challenging an order of the Bombay High Court which dismissed its petitions for forming an SIT to probe the corruption case against former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

A Bench of Justice S K Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh dismissed the plea filed against the high court order dated December 15, 2021.

"It is complete red herring I thought the state will see some sense. But, these are different nature of battles. Sorry, dismissed," the Bench said.

At the outset, Senior Advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for the Maharashtra government, submitted that the current CBI director was the former DGP of Maharashtra and part of the Police Establishment Board which oversaw the transfer and postings. He said how can the CBI investigate its own conduct.

"The present director of CBI at relevant time was the Chairman of the establishment board responsible for transfer. He will either be possibly an accused or definitely a witness. I am not going into likelihood of bias, a person who is relevant as a witness or an accused, he was directly involved", submitted the Senior Counsel.

"My only submission is that if this is the situation that has arisen your lordship may constitute a SIT or whoever to investigate the matter. It surely cannot be that a person who is responsible for actions complained about in FIR, be the person to conduct investigation regarding that," Sundaram said.

On March 24, the apex court had transferred to the CBI the investigation in multiple cases against former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh over allegations of misconduct and corruption saying "a very murky affair is going on amid echelons of power".

It had said a thorough investigation is required to regain the faith of people in the state police.

"The exigencies in the advancement of principles of justice require the investigation to be transferred to CBI. We are not saying appellant (Singh) is a whistle-blower or anyone involved in this case is washed with milk," the Apex Court had said.

The High Court had in December last year dismissed Maharashtra government's petitions for forming an SIT to probe the corruption case against Deshmukh on the ground that CBI's investigation was not impartial.

The high court had also dismissed the state's argument that the present CBI director Subodh Jaiswal should not head the central agency's ongoing probe only because he was the DGP of Maharashtra when Deshmukh was home minister.

The High Court had said the Maharashtra government's apprehension regarding Jaiswal was "not reasonable but merely, a created one."

With PTI input