INDIA. Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh’s plea challenging two inquiries initiated against him by the Maharashtra government concluding that it was not maintainable.
A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar said in the order that Singh can approach the appropriate forums. “The appropriate forum can decide the matter without prejudice to this order, the court said.
Param Bir Singh had filed his plea under article 226 on July 28. He alleged that the inquiries were launched against him a month after he accused the then Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of corruption, demanding Rs 100 crore extortion money from bar owners through dismissed police officer Sachin Waze.
However, raising preliminary objections to his plea, the state contended that the Central Administrative Tribunal was the appropriate forum for Singh’s grievances as these were administrative inquiries related to his conduct when he was the commissioner. As against this, Singh claimed that these were not administrative inquiries but criminal inquiries as there was a reference to Section 32 of the CrPC. Therefore, his only remedy was before the High Court.
Senior Advocate Darius Khambata submitted that Singh’s arguments on maintainability contradicted his petition in which he accepted that these are administrative inquiries. Writing letters would not “immunize” Singh from an inquiry, Khambata said.
However Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani defended Singh’s petition without restricting himself to the maintainability of the plea. He said that inquiry initiated against Singh by the State Home Department was ordered by none other than Anil Deshmukh, at the time.
The Maharashtra Government set up a committee headed by retired Justice KU Chandiwal, to conduct inquiries into charges of dereliction of duty and misconduct against Singh and the allegations of corruption against him. The first order on April 1 this year was passed by Anil Deshmukh for alleged violation of some All India Services (Conduct) Rules. The second order of April 20 was passed by the current home minister Dilip Walse Patil over allegations of corruption levelled against Singh.
However, Singh failed to appear before the Chandiwal Committee. As such a fine of Rs 25,000/- was imposed upon him by the committee on August 18 and August 25.
Singh who was the Mumbai Police commissioner was transferred on March 17 and was posted as the Director General (DG) of Maharashtra Home Guard. After he was transferred, he wrote a letter to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray alleging that Anil Deshmukh had asked dismissed police officer Sachin Waze and other police officers to collect Rs 100 crore monthly, including Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Singh took charge as the DG (Home Guard) on March 22. Subsequently, he proceeded on medical leave from May 04 onwards.