Param Bir Singh Claims ‘Not Absconding’, SC Grants Interim Protection From Arrest

Param Bir Singh (file image)

As the former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh told the Supreme Court on Monday that he is very much in the country and he is not absconding, the top court granted him interim protection from arrest and directed him to join the investigation.

A Bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul asked Singh to join the investigation and issued notices to the Maharashtra government and CBI on Singh’s plea. The apex court now posted the case for hearing on December 6. Singh’s counsel told the Bench that the former police chief is ready to appear before CBI within 48 hours and need some protection.

At the outset, senior advocate Puneet Bali appearing for Singh told the Bench, “Instructions received. He is very much in the country. The discussion is the moment he touched Maharashtra there is a threat to his life.” To this, the Bench said, “You (Singh) say I have a threat to life with Bombay Police. What hope for other people.”

The apex court also expressed concern over the ongoing fight between former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Param Bir Singh saying the matter has become “curiouser and curiouser”.

“We find it very disturbing… Wonder what would happen to a common man. The matter has become curiouser and curiouser in the battle between the then Home Minister and the (former) Police Commissioner,” the Bench said.

The apex court was hearing a petition of Singh filed against the September 16 judgment of the Bombay High Court which dismissed as not maintainable his pleas challenging the two enquiries orders issued by the State Home Ministry for allegedly violative service rules and the second over allegations of corruption.

During the hearing, advocate Bali argued that FIRs against Singh was filed by bookies, extortionists, against whom he had taken action. “They had allegations of corruptions, extortionist money taken from builders, these are the complainants against me,” he told the Bench.

Six cases of corruption and extortion were filed against Singh after he wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray levelling corruption and misconduct against the then Home Minister and senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh, the lawyer said.

He added, “In March the DGP (Maharashtra police chief) asked me to withdraw my letter. He asked me to make peace with the Home Minister. I sent that communication to CBI and CBI registered a case against Deshmukh.”

Singh, a 1988-batch IPS officer, was removed from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner on March 17 and was made the General Commander of Maharashtra State Home Guard after he levelled allegations against Deshmukh.

On November 18, the Bench had asked Singh to disclose his whereabouts while making it clear that no protection can be granted to him against arrest until his location is known.
“Where are you? Are you in the country? Outside the country,” Justice Kaul had asked from Singh’s counsel while inquiring about former police chief’s whereabouts.

Singh was recently declared as an absconder by a Mumbai Magistrate after his non-appearance in an extortion case. “No protection, no hearing till we have the answer to the question – where are you?,” the Bench told Singh’s counsel and had posted the case for hearing for today.

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