India, April 8 -- New Delhi The Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the decks for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into allegations of extortion against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, underscoring that "the nature of allegations and personas involved needs an inquiry by an independent agency".

Terming the investigation "a matter of public confidence", the bench headed by justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul dismissed petitions by Deshmukh and the Maharashtra government appealing against a Bombay high court order for a CBI probe passed on Monday.

The bench, which also included justice Hemant Gupta, emphasised during the hearing that the probe by an agency from outside the state was imperative since the personalities inv...