Case of extortion against Param Bir Singh: Court grants bail to Sanjay Punamiya, Sunil Jain

A metropolitan magistrate court on Wednesday granted bail to builder Sanjay Punamiya and businessman Sunil Jain, both arrested by the Marine Drive police in the extortion case against former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh and others
A metropolitan magistrate court on Wednesday granted bail to builder Sanjay Punamiya and businessman Sunil Jain, both arrested by the Marine Drive police in the extortion case against former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh and others. (HT Photo)
A metropolitan magistrate court on Wednesday granted bail to builder Sanjay Punamiya and businessman Sunil Jain, both arrested by the Marine Drive police in the extortion case against former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh and others. (HT Photo)
Published on Sep 29, 2021 08:29 PM IST
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ByVinay Dalvi, Mumbai

A metropolitan magistrate court on Wednesday granted bail to builder Sanjay Punamiya and businessman Sunil Jain, both arrested by the Marine Drive police in the extortion case against former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh and others.

Additional chief metropolitan magistrate RM Nerlikar granted bail to Jain and Punamiya. Advocate Subhash K Jha who appeared for Punamiya and Jain had argued that in the dispute between complainant Shyam Sundar Agarwal and accused Punamiya consent terms were submitted before the Bombay high court and a consent decree was passed. How can a decree passed before such a higher court be forceful, Jha asked.

At the most, section 385 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was applicable in the case for putting a person in fear of injury, in order to commit extor­tion which prescribes two years imprisonment and not section 387 of IPC for putting a person in fear of death or of grievous hurt in order to commit extortion, which is applied in the first information report (FIR), he argued.

Advocate Shekhar Jagtap and Sairuchita Chowdhury, who appeared for the state, had argued that when the decree was signed the complainant Agarwal was in Rajasthan, Punamiya had forcefully taken his signatures on plain papers, threatening him with police action and that Punamiya had used his connections with Singh to threaten and extort money.

In July 2021, the Marine Drive police have registered an FIR against Param Bir Singh, DCP Akbar Pathan, Assistant Commissioner of Police Shrikant Shinde and other police officers.

The police had arrested builder Sanjay Punamiya, a resident of Marine Drive and his associate Sunil Jain in connection with the case.

Punamiya and complainant Shyam Sundar Agarwal were partners in several projects in Gorai, Borivali and Bhayandar but they parted ways in 2011. As per Agarwal, Punamiya used his links with Singh to extort funds from him after they fell out.

As per the FIR, Punamiya using his influence with Singh had purportedly registered false cases against Agarwal.

Thane police had arrested Agarwal in 2017, after which Punamiya had allegedly sent an associate, Manoj Ghatkar, to offer a settlement. Ghatkar met Agarwal’s nephew Sharad and Shubham at Param Bir Singh’s residence says the complaint.

Ghatkar threatened them and asked them to pay 20 crore or face charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA).

Agarwal paid 9 crore and handed over a plot at Bhayandar to Punamiya’s associate Sunil Jain.

In 2021, when Singh was the Mumbai Police Commissioner, Punamiya filed another complaint at the Juhu police station for threats. Police raided and confiscated Agarwal’s Vile-Parle office but nothing was brought on record.

Inspector Nandkumar Gopale, Asha Korake and DCP Patthan also demanded money from Agarwal. Patthan even threatened to arrest Agarwal if he failed to pay Singh and Punamiya.

On March, 30, Punamiya forcibly obtained Agarwal’s signature on some property documents. Agarwal paid 15.5 crores by cheque to Punamiya at DCP’s office where he was taken forcibly and also paid money to DCP and ACP.

The officers have claimed they have been falsely implicated in the matter.

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Saturday, January 29, 2022