Bombay HC refuses to stay preliminary probes against ex-Mumbai top cop
The Bombay high court on Thursday refused to stay preliminary probes against former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh and sought a response from the Maharashtra government on Singh’s fresh petition challenging the two inquiries initiated against him.
In his petition, Singh also claimed that efforts were being made to thwart the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)-led investigation into his allegations against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh.
Mentioning the petition for urgent hearing before a bench of justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale, Singh’s counsel and senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said the plea challenged two orders passed by the state government on April 1, directing state director general of police (DGP) Sanjay Pandey to probe whether the former top cop had violated provisions of the All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968.
Another order on April 20 asked Pandey to look into allegations made by police inspector Anup Dange that Singh’s brother had demanded ₹2 crore for getting him (Dange) reinstated after he was suspended on disciplinary grounds on July 18 last year.
Singh, in his plea, also claimed that during his meeting with Pandey on April 19, the latter “advised him” to withdraw his letter against Deshmukh which he had sent to the state government in March. The petitioner sought interim protection and a stay on the inquiries till further orders.
The bench, however, refused to stay the two orders after additional public prosecuto Deepak Thakare informed the court that Singh had not been issued any summons or show-cause notice so far and hence, it was premature to stay the same. The court accepted the argument and in light of the urgency. posted the hearing for May 4.
On March 25, Singh had approached the HC, seeking a CBI inquiry into the corruption charges against Deshmukh who allegedly ordered suspended police officer Sachin Vaze, ACP Sanjay Patil and DCP Raju Bhujbal to collect protection money from restaurants and bars among other establishments to the tune of ₹100 crore per month.
After hearing all sides over a period of ten days, the HC, on April 5, directed the CBI not to register an FIR but to conduct a preliminary inquiry and conclude it within 15 days. The CBI, after completing its enquiry, had registered an FIR against Deshmukh.