Developer accuses ex-Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh of extortion
Khar-based developer Kartik Bhatt has moved an intervention application before the Bombay high court (HC), accusing former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh of extortion.
Bhatt has sought the rejection of Singh’s petition, seeking quashing of the FIR against him under SC, ST Act filed on the basis of police officer BR Ghadge’s complaints. He alleged that the senior IPS (Indian Police Service) officer was running an extortion racket through his junior officers.
The developer has alleged that last December, Singh through an officer, had tried to extort ₹200 crore from him for a slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) project, which he had undertaken in Chembur. Bhatt has also alleged that he had already paid an “extortion amount” to Singh in 2018 for the same project.
The division bench of justice SS Shinde and justice NJ Jamadar was hearing the petitions filed by the state of Maharashtra, seeking directions to set aside two ‘unnumbered paragraphs’ from the FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on April 21 after completing the HC-ordered preliminary probe into the corruption allegations against former state home minister Anil Deshmukh and Singh’s petition. It was informed that there were two intervention applications against Singh’s petition.
While making submissions to the state petition, solicitor general of India Tushar Mehta, representing CBI, said that Maharashtra government had no locus standi to file the plea and only the persons aggrieved by the FIR can file it. He stated that CBI had serious objections to the petition as it was filed only to pre-empt the investigation.
Advocate Jaishri Patil, who had filed a complaint based on Singh’s March 20 letter to the chief minister alleging corruption charges against then home minister Anil Deshmukh, sought to intervene in the petition and said that the state’s petition was not maintainable.
Senior counsels Rafique Dada and Darius Khambatta for the government maintained that the state did not intend to interfere in the CBI probe against Deshmukh and others but only sought removal of the two unnumbered paragraphs from the FIR as they were not mandated to be investigated by the April 5 order of HC.
When Singh’s petition came up for hearing, advocate Ashok Dhanuka informed the bench that he wanted to intervene in the petition on behalf of Bhatt, his client. Dhanuka informed the court that Bhatt was a victim of extortion which was orchestrated by Singh through Mumbai Police officers. In light of this, the intervention application was filed to oppose the reliefs sought by Singh.
Due to the multitude of the intervention applications, the bench stated that it would hear the petition along with Singh’s petition and other intervention applications on June 14.
CBI continued its earlier statement that it would not press the state government for certain documents related to offences mentioned in the FIR till the next hearing, after which the state also assured the bench that it will not take coercive steps, including arresting Singh till June 15, in Ghadge’s case.