INDIA.Mumbai: Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh Singh who was last week transferred and posted as Director General of Police, Home Guards, amid a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the recovery of an explosives-laden SUV near Mukesh Ambani’s home last month, filed a petition challenging his transfer before the Supreme court on Monday.
Singh has demanded a fair probe by the CBI into the alleged malpractices by Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. He has alleged that Deshmukh abused his power to directly control investigations into various cases in a “particular manner that he desired” and interfered in postings and transfers of officers in the state.
As he had claimed in his letter to the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on March 20, 2021, Singh reiterated his allegation that Deshmukh had pressurized several officers to extort money from bars, pubs, and Hukkah parlors in Mumbai and other sources to the tune of Rs 100 crore per month. He demanded that a fair and unbiased probe must be conducted before “evidence is destroyed.”
Highlights of the Petition
Singh in the petition claimed that he had brought the alleged corrupt practices of Deshmukh in the knowledge of the senior leaders including the chief minister, following which he was transferred on March 17 to the Home Guard department. He alleged that his transfer is “smeared with malice when there is no iota of material or evidence against him and is solely based on conjectures and surmises”.
Singh in the petition alleged that the then Commissioner Intelligence Rashmi Shukla, in August 2020 had brought to the notice of the Director-General of Police the alleged corrupt malpractices in postings and transfers by Deshmukh based on telephonic interceptions. “She was shunted out rather than taking any firm action against in the matter. Shukla, in turn brought the matter to the notice of the Additional Chief Secretary Home Department.
He mentioned in the petition that Deshmukh abused the official position to call and directly instruct the police officers of lower rank such as Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze (arrested by NIA in connection with Ambani bomb scare case) “for his malicious intent of extorting money from establishments across Mumbai and from other sources.
In an email sent to the chief minister, Singh had narrated certain meetings Deshmukh held with police officers including API Vaze and ACP Patil, close to him. He also gave evidence of his conversation with ACP Patil between March 16 and March 19, 2021. During the conversation, ACP Patil admitted that there were instructions from Deshmukh to collect money from bars and restaurants in Mumbai, Singh claimed.
However, Deshmukh termed Singh’s allegations as misleading. He said that even the dates of his meetings with police officers, alleged by Singh were wrong. I was in the hospital from February 05 to February 15, 2021, and was home quarantine from February 15 to February 27, 2021.
In a statement, Deshmukh said that a show-cause notice will be sent to Singh and he will be placed under suspension as per provisions of Rule 3 of All India Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969.
Similarly, NCP Maharashtra Minister and senior minister Jayant Patil said that the allegations leveled by Singh were vague and there was no question of Deshmukh resigning, till such time the investigation in the Ambani bomb scare case is over.
However, the Congress, a constituent of the ruling Mahavikas Aghadi Government in Maharashtra is likely to exert pressure on Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray demanding Deshmukh’s resignation.