The Bombay High Court on Tuesday took a dim view of a petition filed by a lawyer seeking a CBI probe against Maharashtra Home minister Anil Deshmukh and former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh, saying such pleas were often filed for "cheap publicity".
A bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale was hearing a plea filed by Jaishri Patil, urging the HC to direct the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any other independent agency to probe into the allegations of corruption against Anil Deshmukh.
In her plea filed last week, Jaishri Patil said Anil Deshmukh and Param Bir Singh acted in breach of their professional duties during the entire episode of an explosives-laden SUV found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence in Mumbai, the death of the vehicle's owner Mansukh Hiran, the arrest of Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze and related events.
Anil Deshmukh has denied the allegations against him. On Tuesday, Jaishri Patil told the High Court that she had also filed a complaint at a local police station regarding the entire episode.
The court, however, said, "Prima facie we are of opinion that such petitions are filed for cheap popularity. It is unacceptable."
The bench asked what was Jaishri Patil's locus standi in the matter.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told the bench that Param Bir Singh had also approached the HC and his petition was kept before the Chief Justice's court for hearing on Wednesday.
About Jaishri Patil's plea, Kumbhakoni said the petition was very "badly drafted".
The bench noted that Jaishri Patil's plea merely reproduced conversations between the state Home minister and Param Bir Singh.
"You are a doctorate of law. Please show us some original pleading in your petition. You have only reproduced conversations between the former Commissioner and Home Minister. You are only extracting paragraphs after paragraphs," the bench said to Jaishri Patil.
"And what is your locus? What is your reason for setting the wheels of criminal law in motion? And what is your contribution in the plea?" the court asked.
The High Court then asked Kumbhakoni to get all the petitions related to the issue clubbed together to avoid the possibility of inconsistent orders.
The High Court will hear Jaishri Patil's plea and other related pleas, if any, on April 1.