Mumbai, Apr 7: The Shiv Sena on Wednesday claimed that the law and central investigation agencies were being misused to corner political rivals.

An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said the Bombay High Court had pulled up senior police officer Param Bir Singh over his allegations of corruption against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, but took cognisance of charges in a separate petition filed by one Jayshri Patil.

"Nobody is above law. But, it is now clear that the law and central investigation agencies are being misused to corner political rivals," the Marathi publication claimed.

"It is a cause of concern that constitutional authorities are getting involved in weakening the Maharashtra government in such a manner," it said.

The Shiv Sena shares power with the NCP and Congress in Maharashtra.

The HC on Monday directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry within 15 days into the allegations of corruption levelled by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh against NCP leader Deshmukh, following which he resigned as the state's home minister.

The HC was hearing pleas filed by Singh himself, lawyer Ghanshyam Upadhyay and local teacher Mohan Bhide and city-based lawyer Jayshri Patil.

The HC ordered for the CBI inquiry on Patil's plea.

The editorial said the opposition BJP in Maharashtra makes statements like which state minister is next in line to resign.

"They would not say this if they weren't confident that the central probe agencies were working for them. This is a conspiracy to defame the state," the Sena alleged.

It said earlier also, the opposition parties had levelled allegations against members of the ruling party and several ministers and chief ministers had to quit.

But, the atmosphere was not full of hatred and poison, the Sena said.

It said while the Bombay HC passed an order to conduct a probe into allegations against Anil Deshmukh,Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa recently got a relief from the Supreme Court as it stayed the criminal proceedings against him in a 10-year-old corruption case.

"Why different decisions for Anil Deshmukh and the Karnataka chief minister?" the Marathi daily sought to know.

Referring to a French media report on Rafale fighter jet deal which claimed that Euro 1.1 million was paid to a "middleman" by the aircraft manufacturer, the editorial asked who should now resign on moral grounds?

"Is morality only for the Shiv Sena and NCP?" it questioned.

The BJP has already denied the allegation in the French media report as baseless.

The editorial said "the Supreme Court had earlier passed an order that there was no corruption in the Rafale case" and the BJP had targeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his charges about corruption in the fighter jet deal.

Notably, the Supreme Court had dismissed the pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale jets, saying there was no occasion to "really doubt the decision making process" warranting setting aside of the contract.

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Bengaluru, Apr 20: Karnataka has reported its biggest single day spike of 21,794 COVID-19 cases and 149 related fatalities, taking the total caseload 11.98 lakh and the toll to 13,646, the Health department said on Tuesday.

The state had previously reported its biggest single day spike of 19,067 cases on Sunday.

Out of the 21,794 fresh cases reported on Tuesday, 13,782 were from Bengaluru Urban alone.

The day also saw 4,571 patients getting discharged after recovery.

Cumulatively 11,98,644 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 13,646 deaths and 10,25,821 discharges,the Health department said in a bulletin.

Out of 1,59,158 active cases, 1,58,407 patients are stable and in isolation at designated hospitals, while 751 are in Intensive Care Units.

Among 149 deaths reported on Tuesday, 92 were from Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural (13), Bidar and Kalaburagi (7), Ballari (5), followed by others.

Among the districts where the new cases were reported, Bengaluru Urban accounted for 13,782, Tumakuru 1,055, Kalaburagi 818, Mysuru 699, Bengaluru Rural 513, Dakshina Kannada 482, followed by others.

Bengaluru Urban district topped the list of positive cases, with a total of 5,70,035, followed by Mysuru 63,018 and Ballari 42,745.

Among discharges too, Bengaluru Urban was on top with 4,49,889, followed by Mysuru 57,745 and Ballari 39,829.

A total of over 2,38,64,354 samples have been tested so far, out of which 1,47,488 were done on Tuesday alone.

To view today's health bulletin: CLICK HERE