Former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh in Chandigarh, may join probe
Former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh is in Chandigarh, and likely to join an ongoing corruption and extortion probe in Maharashtra soon, said a person aware of developments on Wednesday.
Singh, who is facing five separate charges of extortion and corruption in Maharashtra, has been missing since May 4, and has failed to appear before a judicial commission looking into his allegations of graft against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh.
“Singh is in Chandigarh and will join the probe at a suitable time,” said the person cited above, requesting anonymity.
Some news channels reported that Singh, 56, is likely to travel to Mumbai but added that he hadn’t decided on the next course of action.
Singh also briefly appeared on Telegram on Wednesday but later deleted his account from the social messaging app. He, however, appeared to have switched his phone on after about six months.
Singh has not reported to work since May 4, after his transfer from the post of Mumbai Police commissioner and his subsequent allegations of corruption against Deshmukh.
The development came two days after the Supreme Court protected Singh from arrest in alleged extortion cases after the IPS officer said he was “very much in the country” and willing to submit to a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any agency other than Maharashtra police.
A bench headed by justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul sought responses from CBI and the Maharashtra government on Singh’s plea to transfer investigation of six first information reports (FIRs) from Mumbai Police to the CBI, and fixed the matter for hearing next on December 6.
The bench, which also comprised justice MM Sundresh, asked Singh to join the investigation by Mumbai Police in the meantime, but made it clear that he would not be arrested.
Last week, the top court directed Singh to disclose his whereabouts while making it clear that it would not entertain his petition for protection against arrest until his location was known. “Where are you? Are you in the country or outside the country?” the apex court had asked.
Singh, the second most senior Indian Police Service (IPS) serving officer in Maharashtra, was declared a proclaimed offender by a Mumbai court last week after he remained elusive since March and did not show up before the trial court despite several notices and warrants issued against him.
Singh was transferred on March 17 after Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze was arrested in the case of an SUV with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house, ‘Antilia’ and the subsequent suspicious death of businessman Mansukh Hiran.
The saga began with the Antilla bomb scare case, where a SUV with some gelatin sticks was found near the residence of billionaire businessman Ambani. Singh was transferred for his mishandling of the case, and soon after wrote a letter to the chief minister alleging that Vaze, the policeman who is the main accused in the Antilla case, was asked to raise ₹100 crore a month by extortion by Deshmukh. The investigation against Deshmukh was sparked by his claims and petitions based on them.