The Supreme Court has granted former Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh protection from arrest in an alleged extortion case. While granting the same, the court directed Param Bir Singh to join the investigation.
In the last hearing, the Supreme Court had said it will not entertain his plea for protection from arrest until it is known where he is. Param Bir Singh had failed to appear before the trial court despite several notices and warrants issued against him.
During the hearing on Monday, Param Bir Singh’s lawyer said he is “very much” in the country.
“He doesn’t want to abscond. He doesn’t want to run away. The issue however is that there is a very genuine threat to his life as soon as he enters Maharashtra,” the lawyer added. Param Bir Singh is ready to appear before any CBI official within 48 hours if the court asks him to, the former police officer’s counsel said.
PARAM BIR SINGH’S PLEA
Param Bir Singh’s legal counsel, arguing for protection from arrest for him on Monday, said on his behalf, “I don’t want to send out the impression that I have done anything wrong. I have full faith in the judiciary. Please grant me protection. I was the senior-most police officer, I won’t run away.”
He also alleged that “bookies and extortionists” who he had taken action against during his tenure were now filing complaints against him. “What do I expect from the Maharashtra government after this?” he asked.
“If every person I have taken action against starts registering complaints against me, what am I and my colleagues expected to do?” Param Bir Singh’s counsel added.
He alleged that the present Director General of Police in Maharashtra had asked him to withdraw his letter if he wanted his safety ensured. In March this year, Param Bir Singh had written a letter to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray in which he alleged that former state home minister Anil Deshmukh had asked suspended cop Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore each month from businesses in Mumbai.
CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER: SC
After hearing the arguments on Monday, the Supreme Court bench said, “The matter has become curiouser and curiouser in the battle between the then home minister and the then Mumbai police commissioner.”
Multiple cases of extortion have been filed against Param Bir Singh. In March this year, he was removed as Mumbai Police Commissioner and shifted to the Home Guard department amid the Ambani bomb scare case. However, he went on leave in May and was untraceable for several months after.