The Supreme Court today rejected a petition by ex-Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh to transfer all cases against him to the CBI. “After having served for more than 30 years, you do not have confidence in Maharashtra Police? It is shocking,” the Supreme Court responded sharply to the petition, which was later withdrawn.
Param Bir Singh was unceremoniously removed as Mumbai’s top cop in March amid multiple investigations linked to a security scare outside the home of Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man. As the controversy thickened, Mr Singh made some explosive corruption allegations against ex-Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, plunging the Uddhav Thackeray government into crisis. Mr Deshmukh had told policemen to extort Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants, the former top cop had alleged.
He then claimed he has been targeted and harassed because of the allegations he had made. In his petition, he had told the top court to transfer all cases against him to the CBI, which is already probing allegations against Mr Deshmukh.
Mahesh Jethmalani, Param Bir Singh’s lawyer, told the Supreme Court today that Mr Singh was “pressurised by an inquiry officer to withdraw his letter against Anil Deshmukh or more cases would be filed against him”. The ex-top cop “can’t keep on facing one case after the other just because he is a ‘whistleblower’ in the matter,” the lawyer further said.
“It is commonly said, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others,” said a vacation bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian in response.
When the court was told that “the money collection process went on” as mentioned in Mr Singh’s letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the Supreme Court shot back saying: “You were commissioner of police. What were the steps you had taken to stop it?”
“If the person of rank of DGP can be pressurised, then there will be nobody who can’t be pressurised. Don’t make up stories,” the court said.
On transfer of the cases, the bench further said: “These are two different things. The inquiry against the former minister is different and the inquiry against you is different. You have served in the police force for over 30 years. You should not have doubt on the police force. You cannot say now that you want inquiries to be done outside the state.”
Mr Singh, in his earlier petition filed before the top court, had sought a CBI probe against Mr Deshmukh. The top court had then asked him to go before the Bombay High Court, which later ordered a probe by the central investigating agency.
Mr Deshmukh, however, had denied any wrongdoing but he resigned as the state’s Home Minister.