Supreme Court rejects ex-Mumbai police chief’s plea to transfer cases against him to CBI

Supreme Court rejects ex-Mumbai police chief’s plea to transfer cases against him to CBI

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh’s petition to transfer the cases against him in Maharashtra to the Central Bureau of Investigation or other independent agency, Bar and Bench reported.

Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian said they were shocked to see that Singh, who served in the Maharashtra cadre for 30 years, had no faith in that system.

A first information report had been filed against Singh and others in April after a police officer accused him of corruption between 2015 and 2018. The complainant, Bhimrao Ghadge, alleged that Singh, while he was posted as the Thane police chief, had asked him not to chargesheet certain individuals against whom FIRs were registered. Ghagde also alleged that he was suspended for refusing to follow Singh’s orders.

Twenty-seven sections, including criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence and under the provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989, were applied against those accused in the case. Singh was granted protection from arrest by the Bombay High Court in May this year.

Singh was embroiled in another controversy in March for accusing former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of extorting money from bars, restaurants and hookah parlours in Mumbai. His accusations triggered a huge political controversy in the state, leading to Deshmukh’s resignation from the state Cabinet on April 5. This happened after the Bombay High Court directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into allegations against him.

Also read: ‘Why wasn’t an FIR filed against Anil Deshmukh?’ Bombay HC pulls up former Mumbai police chief

During Friday’s hearing, Singh’s lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani told the court that he was transferred to a lower post in the Mumbai Police’s Home Guards after he made the accusations against Deshmukh, the Hindustan Times reported.

Jethmalani added that department inquiries had been initiated against Singh and he was threatened with criminal cases.

Singh had told the court in his petition that he had no faith in the Maharashtra government’s investigation of the cases against him, and asked for them to be transferred outside the state.

“You have been a part of the [Maharashtra Police] force for 30-plus years, you cannot have doubt against your own”, the bench told Singh on Friday, according to Live Law. “There is a saying, people in glass houses should not throw stones [at others].”

The court refused to pass a blanket order in connection with the cases against Singh. “If you want to address on merits, we will hear you and pass an order,” the court said, according to Bar and Bench. “Else we will grant liberty to withdraw this and go to Bombay High Court.” Singh eventually withdrew his plea.

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