"Looking at the personas involved and nature of allegations and seriousness of allegations, it requires investigation by an independent agency. It is a matter of public confidence," a bench comprising Justices S K Kaul and Hemant Gupta said
The Supreme Court stated on Thursday that allegations of corruption and misconduct made against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh are 'serious' and require a CBI probe. These allegations have been levelled by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
"Looking at the personas involved and nature of allegations and seriousness of allegations, it requires investigation by an independent agency. It is a matter of public confidence," a bench comprising Justices S K Kaul and Hemant Gupta said.
"We don't want to interfere with the orders of high court directing preliminary inquiry by CBI," the bench said.
The Maharashtra government and Deshmukh had earlier filed a petition in the apex court, in which they challenged a Bombay High Court ruling that directed a CBI investigation in the allegations levelled against the former Maharashtra Home Minister.
In its petition to the apex court, the state government had questioned the procedure used by the Bombay High Court for ordering the probe into the allegations. The state was heard on question of maintainability of the pleas seeking CBI investigation against Deshmukh on allegation of corruption, and the order too was reserved on that issue, but the court finally ended up directing the probe, read the plea filed by the state government.
Earlier, Param Bir Singh had stated in the plea filed by him on March 25 that the home minister had asked police officers to extort Rs 100 crore from restaurants and bars. Singh has demanded a CBI enquiry against Deshmukh in his plea.
Deshmukh has denied all allegations made by Singh. Hours after the Bombay High Court's judgement, Deshmukh resigned from the post of State Home Minster citing 'moral' grounds.
"The high court asked the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry. In the wake of the court's decision I don't feel morally right to continue on the position of the home minister. Hence, I have decided to step down from this position on my own," read Deshmukh's letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.