SC to fugitive Param Bir Singh: “No protection until we know where you are”
A day after the Mumbai trial court declared him as a “proclaimed offender”, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh, who has sought protective orders, to disclose his location, saying “no protection, no hearing until we know where you are”. The apex court asked his lawyer to inform about Singh’s whereabouts and posted the matter for hearing on November 22. Meanwhile, the apex court junked a plea filed by former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh seeking records, including file notings and internal correspondence, of the preliminary enquiry (PE) report in the corruption case, saying “should we entertain this because he has been a minister.”
The bench headed by Justice S K Kaul took exception that Param Bir Singh’s plea seeking protection has been filed through power of attorney. “You are seeking protective orders; nobody knows where you are. Suppose you are sitting abroad and taking legal recourse through power of attorney then what happens. If that is so then you will come to India if the Court rules in your favour, we don’t know what you have in mind. No protection, no hearing until we know where you are,” said the bench also comprising Justice M M Sundresh.
The Bench further said: “The petition has been filed through power of attorney. Where are you? Are you in this country or outside? In some state, where are you? We will come to the remaining. First, we need to know where are you?” A magistrate court in Bombay on Wednesday declared Singh a “proclaimed offender” in an extortion case registered against him and some other police officers in the city.
Controversial IPS officer Param Bir Singh is now facing a slew of extortion cases. Singh had last attended his office in May this year after which he went on leave. The state police had told the Bombay High Court last month that his whereabouts were not known. Under Section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a court can publish a proclamation requiring an accused to appear if a warrant issued against him or her cannot be executed. As per Section 83, after issuing such a proclamation the court can also order attachment of the offender’s properties. There are indications that Param Bir Singh crossed the Nepal border in August.
Former assistant police inspector Sachin Waze is also an accused in the case, registered at the Goregaon police station. Besides Singh, co-accused Vinay Singh and Riyaz Bhatti were also declared proclaimed offenders by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S B Bhajipale on Wednesday. The IPS officer was shunted from the post of Mumbai police commissioner in March 2021 after Waze was arrested in the case of the SUV with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s south Mumbai residence ‘Antilia’ and the subsequent death of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiren.
Anil Deshmukh later stepped down as minister and the CBI registered a case against him based on Singh’s allegations. A bench headed by Justice S K Kaul dismissed Deshmukh’s plea and said he can argue on this before the competent court and they have the liberty to do so.
“The petition under 32 is based on the premise that the orders passed by the Court on the rationale that the PE may have been material against the petition. But as per certain newspaper reports, the petitioner is stated to have been given clean chit in the enquiry. The prayer is to call for all the records to look into the PE. We are not inclined to exercise our jurisdiction under Article 32. In the given scenario it is always open to the petitioner to plead before the competent Court,” said the bench also comprising Justice M M Sundresh.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Deshmukh, submitted that the Court had earlier said that let the PE be completed as the Commissioner of Police (Param Bir Singh) has made these allegations. “Now the commissioner of police is going to be declared an absconder. They said in the FIR that a PE report says a cognizable offence is made out. India Today has assessed the report. As per certain reports, the petitioner is given a clean chit.
“The PE on the orders of the Bombay High Court has recorded statements of many key players. If this is true then it takes the whole basis of the record. Then there is political motivation in this. All family members, servants are being called every day to admit that you are leaking this report,” argued Sibal.
A special PMLA court here on Monday had sent Deshmukh to 14-day judicial custody as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) did not seek his further remand in connection with a multi-crore money laundering case. Deshmukh (71) was arrested by the ED on November 1 after questioning in the case, under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED case is that Deshmukh while serving as the state’s home minister, misused his official position and through dismissed police officer Sachin Waze collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
PGurus is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with all the latest news and views
For all the latest updates, download PGurus App.
- ED arrests AAP MP Sanjay Singh in Delhi Excise policy case after raids - October 4, 2023
- Canadian allegations against India ‘serious’, need to be fully investigated: US - October 4, 2023
- Delhi excise scam: Court allows two accused bribe givers to turn approver in money laundering case - October 3, 2023