Thane Police to probe cop’s plaint against Param Bir Singh
The first information report (FIR) registered by Akola police against former Mumbai police commissioner and Maharashtra home guards commandant general Param Bir Singh, three deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) and 29 others has been transferred to Thane police on Thursday. The FIR has been filed on the basis of a complaint lodged by an inspector from Akola. Singh did not respond to calls and messages.
Police sources said the case would now be investigated by an assistant commissioner of police.
The complainant, BR Ghadge, posted at Akola city police control room, belongs to the Scheduled Caste community. He has alleged that as he had refused to follow Singh’s illegal orders to benefit some accused in a criminal case, Singh conspired with others and registered three extortion and a corruption case between August 23 and September 3, 2015, against him. Ghadge claimed that the accused policemen falsely implicated him in these cases to harass him.
“The then commissioner, in an unruly manner, intentionally deprived me from the post of senior inspector (in-charge) of Bazar Peth police station out of grudge and appointed officers way junior to him on the post. This was also against the August 19, 2015, order of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Commission, Worli,” Ghadge had stated in an earlier complaint to police.
“I was placed under suspension by Singh from August 23, 2015, to November 28, 2018, as a breach of my fundamental rights,” said Ghadge, who in the past had made 13 complaints regarding the alleged injustice on him.
Other than Singh, those who are made accused in the case include 15 police officers who were posted at Thane when Singh was the commissioner of police at Thane between 2015 and 2018. They face 27 sections under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, Indian Penal Code, Maharashtra Police Act and Civil Rights Protection Act.
The FIR (of which HT has a copy) mainly revolves around a 2013 criminal case against the then Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation officials for allegedly giving extra floor space index to builders in the names of deceased people. Ghadge had alleged that while probing this scam, he had made 26 people, including three former municipal commissioners of KDMC and other senior civic officials and builders, an accused. However, Singh had asked him to drop the names of the senior civic officials.
Singh had called Ghadge and his staff to his office on April 15, 2015, and ordered him to remove the names of 22 civic officials named in the case and instructed him to send a report to KDMC recommending departmental action against them, Ghadge alleged.
However, Ghadge had refused to oblige and informed Singh that he, in due consultation and supervision of the then joint commissioner of Thane Police VV Laxminarayan, had applied appropriate sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, as the accused were involved in criminal misconduct.
Ghadge claimed that Laxminarayan had also approved his investigation and invocation of sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the officials.
Later, only four accused were charge sheeted in the case, while names of remaining 22 officials were dropped, he said.
Earlier, Ghadge had written a 14-page complaint against Singh and others on April 20 to chief minister Uddhav Thackerey, home minister Dilip Walse Patil, director general of state police Sanjay Pandey and DG anti-corruption bureau, alleging that while serving as commissioner of Thane Police, Singh indulged in several illegal and corrupt acts and made crores of rupees.
In the letter, he had claimed that Singh gave orders to police officers to extricate some influential people from criminal cases registered against them, allegedly in return for huge sums of money.
Recently, Singh was removed as Mumbai Police commissioner for “mishandling” of the Antilia explosives case and the murder of Mansukh Hiran, the man in possession of the vehicle in which the explosives were found outside the residence of billionaire Mukesh Ambani. Hiran reported the vehicle stolen around a week before it was found with the explosives in late February. Hiran was subsequently found dead.
Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze has been named as the main accused in both cases by the National Investigation Agency. After his removal as commissioner, Singh wrote a letter to CM, alleging that the state’s home minister Anil Deshmukh instructed Vaze and some other Mumbai Police officers to extort money from dance bars, bars and restaurants and hookah parlours in the city.
Singh had also approached courts with his complaint, following which the Bombay high court ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the matter, after which Deshmukh was compelled to resign. CBI had subsequently, on April 21, registered a regular case against Deshmukh.