Water resources minister Sunil Tatkare's lawyers argued before court that those accusing him of land grabbing and money laundering should not have approached court directly without first filing a complaint or FIR.
Tatkare's counsel Aspi Chinoy and lawyer Aniket Nikam were responding to a PIL filed by BJP secretary Kirit Somaiya and others seeking an inquiry into the wealth allegedly amassed by Tatkare and his family members through large-scale land grab and money laundering.
Chinoy said it is established in law that a party cannot directly approach the high court and seek an investigation before first filing a complaint. They wanted to file a short reply as they did not accept the public interest litigation was maintainable.
The petition filed in August had sought for a CBI probe into the matter.
The petition has alleged that Tatkare, his family and friends have indulged in money laundering, benami holdings forging documents and other fraudulent activities.
"Tatkare has misused and abused his position as a minister to make illegal gains," the petition has stated.
A division bench headed by justice AM Khanwilkar asked the respondent to file a reply in one week. The case has been adjourned till October 12.