NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought CBI's reply on a plea by its official Abhishek Tiwari, seeking bail in connection with alleged leak of the probe agency's preliminary inquiry report in a corruption case against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
Justice Yogesh Khanna issued notice on the bail plea and listed the matter for further hearing on September 27, along with a similar petition of the co-accused and Deshmukh's lawyer Anand Daga. The CBI had registered a case against its sub-inspector Tiwari, Nagpur-based advocate Daga and others on various allegations, including illegal gratification.
Daga was arrested for allegedly trying to subvert the Bombay High Court-directed preliminary enquiry against Deshmukh. According to the plea, Tiwari was detained on August 30, arrested on September 1 and is in judicial custody since September 6.
Tiwari has challenged a special CBI court's September 8 order which had rejected his bail application. "The petitioner is a victim of circumstances in as much as he has been made scapegoat and victimised by his senior in the CBI in order to put undue pressure for reason best known to them whereas in the facts and circumstances of the case, the petitioner is not involved in the alleged offence as put forth in the present Crime case," said the plea, filed through advocates Meenesh Dubey and Abdhesh Chaudhary.
The official said he has a clean and spotless service record and it was because of his integrity and uprightness that he was recommended by his seniors to the ongoing investigation relating to the former home minister of Maharashtra along with other officers.
He alleged that he had not been allowed to perform his duty in a fearless manner for last more than one year and was always subjected to harassment and mental torture. The trial court had on rejected the bail pleas of Tiwari and Daga, saying that the investigation was still inconclusive.
A report of the preliminary enquiry (PE) purportedly giving clean chit to Deshmukh was leaked earlier causing embarrassment to the agency. The CBI started a probe into the leakage in which it emerged that findings of the PE were influenced.
"Attempts by Anil Deshmukh's team were in contempt of the Bombay High Court which had directed that all concerned should fully cooperate with the CBI while conducting the PE. In this case, it has appeared that Deshmukh's team tried to subvert the PE," the CBI had said.
The CBI had started a PE on the orders of the Bombay High Court which had issued the direction while hearing a public interest litigation on allegations of corruption against Deshmukh.
In the FIR, the CBI had booked Deshmukh and others unidentified under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act for "attempt to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of public duty".
Allegations against Deshmukh had surfaced after the removal of Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. He was removed after the alleged role of policeman Sachin Waze surfaced in the case of an explosive-laden SUV which was found parked outside the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani.
Waze was arrested by the NIA. The FIR alleged that Deshmukh "and others" exercised undue influence over the transfer and posting of officials.