Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who was declared an absconder, moved the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking protection from arrest in the criminal cases against him.
The top court, however, refused to entertain Param Bir Singh’s plea until he informs it of his current location, whether he is in India or in hiding abroad. The former top cop has at least five criminal cases registered against him in Maharashtra and has multiple non-bailable warrants issued in his name in the Goregaon extortion case.
“Where is Param Bir Singh? He has not joined investigation, we don’t know where he is. He’s a senior official and this raises concerns about credibility,” the bench said.
Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul observed, “If you are sitting abroad and approaching the Court… If the Court gives a favourable order only then he’ll come back. It might be so.”
The counsel for Param Bir Singh has sought time before bench to get instructions. The court has directed the former top cop’s petitions for protection from arrest to be listed on November 22.
Param Bir Singh has been untraceable since September 2021, with investigating agencies wondering if he has fled India. Amid this, a magistrate court on Wednesday declared him a “proclaimed offender” on the basis of an application filed by the Mumbai Police, which is investigating the Goregaon extortion case against the former police commissioner.
WHAT IS THE EXTORTION CASE AGAINST PARAM BIR SINGH?
The crime branch of Mumbai Police is probing an extortion case registered against Param Bir Singh in suburban Goregaon by builder-cum-hotelier Bimal Agrawal.
Besides Param Bir Singh, dismissed police officer Sachin Waze, Sumit Singh alias Chintu, Alpesh Patel, Vinay Singh alias Babloo and Riyaz Bhati are named as accused in the FIR.
As per the complaint by Bimal Agarwal, the accused extorted Rs 9 lakh from him for not conducting a raid on two bars and restaurants, which he ran in partnership, and also forced him to buy two smartphones worth around Rs 2.92 lakh for them. The complaint alleged that the incident occurred between January 2020 and March 2021.
Param Bir Singh later accused then state home minister Anil Deshmukh of asking Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore from hotels and bars in Mumbai every month, a charge which Deshmukh denied.