INDIA. Mumbai: The Mumbai Police crime branch on Saturday issued a notice to former police commissioner Param Bir Singh in connection with an extortion case registered against him based on a complaint by a city hotelier and civic contractor.
The notice has asked Singh to appear before the investigating officer concerned for the inquiry on October 12. A copy of the notice, issued by unit-XI of the crime branch, has been pasted on the door of Singh’s official residence at Nilima Building at Walkeshwar in South Mumbai. Besides, a team of police officials has gone to Chandigarh to serve the notice at his native place.
The case is related to a complaint lodged by one Bimal Agarwal who had alleged that Singh along with dismissed assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze ( now in NIA custody for Antilia bomb scare case) had threatened him and extorted monthly payments from January 2020 till March 2021 for “letting him run his hotels in Goregaon and Andheri without any police hassles. The case was originally registered by the Goregaon police but was later transferred to the Crime Branch.
To meet their extortion demand, Agarwal claimed that he had paid a sum of Rs. 9 lakh in cash besides giving the accused two Samsung Fold-2 mobile phones worth Rs.2,12,000. He had alleged that Singh had also extorted money from other hotel owners and bookies in Mumbai.
Besides, a lookout notice was issued against Singh and 27 others, by the Thane police on July 30 based on a complaint of businessman Ketan Tanna, who alleged that when Singh was the Thane Police Commissioner between January 2018 and February 2019, he extorted Rs 1.25 crore from him by summoning him to the Anti Extortion Cell and threatened him to frame him up in serious criminal cases.
On March 18, the Maharashtra government shunted out Singh as Mumbai police commissioner following Antilia bomb scare case and Hiran murder case and transferred him to home guards.
In addition, the Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Pande last month sent a proposal to the state government to suspend Singh along with other police officers accused in the alleged extortion cases. However, the Home Department sent back the proposal seeking clarity on the role of each policeman whose suspension was sought.
The Justice Chandiwal Commission set up to probe the allegations made against former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had fined Singh for not appearing before the commission and issued two bailable warrants, which couldn’t be served to Singh as he was not traceable.
A team of CID (Crime Investigation Department) had also gone to Chandigarh to serve the bailable warrant on Singh but could not serve it as Singh was not available.
Singh is a 1988-batch IPS officer and has been slapped with five FIRs in Mumbai and Thane. He is also facing two open inquiries by the state anti-corruption bureau (ACB) with regards to allegations of corruption made against him by two serving police inspectors.
Singh has been on leave since May 4, after citing medical reasons, and had sought two extensions till August 29 but hasn’t communicated after that. He failed to resume duty and there has been no communication by mail or in-person to the state. His mobile phone is switched off, prompting the investigating agencies to suspect that the senior cop might have fled abroad.