CBI may record Param Bir Singh’s statement in Bombay HC-directed inquiry today
A six-member team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which arrived in Mumbai from Delhi on Tuesday, is expected to record the statement of former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh in the preliminary inquiry ordered by the Bombay high court on April 5. The high court had ordered the inquiry based on a petition filed by city-based lawyer Dr Jaishri Patil seeking a probe into Singh’s allegations against former home minister Anil Deshmukh in his March 20 letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Dr Patil had approached the high court after the Malabar Hill police failed to take cognizance of her March 21 letter seeking the registration of an FIR against Deshmukh. Dr Patil, in her petition, not only sought directions to the Malabar Hill police station to register an offence but also sought a CBI probe into the allegations.
The bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice Girish Kulkarni in its 52-page order delivered on April 5 observed that as the police force was under home minister Deshmukh there could not be an unfair, impartial and unbiased inquiry and hence directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry within 15 days. The court, however, restrained the CBI from registering an FIR based on Dr Patil’s complaint. The court also left it to the discretion of the director of CBI to decide on the further course of action after the preliminary inquiry.
After arriving in Mumbai on Tuesday, the CBI registered a preliminary inquiry and is expected to start recording the statements of Singh and other officers mentioned by Singh in his allegations. The statement of Dr Patil will also be recorded by the six CBI officers.
The high court noted that it could not remain a “mute spectator” to the complaints received against high-level officers and ruled, “It is, hence, certainly an issue of credibility of state machinery, which would stare at face when confronted with the expectations of law and when such complaints are received against high-ranking public officials. This court cannot be a mute spectator in these circumstances.”