Transferred after exposé of Home Minister: Ex-Mumbai police chief Param Bir

Plea in Supreme Court says decision violated his dignity

March 22, 2021 03:11 pm | Updated 07:23 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. File

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. File

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh on Monday informed the Supreme Court that his transfer order arrived “immediately after” he complained to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other senior leaders about the “corrupt malpractices” of State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.


Mr. Singh alleged that Mr. Deshmukh held meetings with “officers of lower rank” like Sachin Vaze, now in custody in connection with the Mukesh Ambani residence bomb scare case, and Sanjay Patil, an ACP with the Social Service Branch, at his residence in February. This was done “bypassing their seniors”. The Home Minister had “instructed” the duo to “accumulate ₹100 crore every month".


“For achieving this target, the Home Minister had told Vaze that there are about 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai and if a sum of ₹two-three lakh each was collected from each of them, a monthly collection of ₹40-50 crore was achievable,” the petition by Mr. Singh said.


The former top cop said the Minister, besides using police officers for his “malicious intent of extorting money”, interfered with investigations, ordering them to be conducted in a “particular manner”. He also indulged in corrupt practices in official postings and transfers of officers.


Mr. Singh said he had conveyed his apprehensions to senior leaders and the Chief Minister. “Immediately thereafter, on March 17, he (Singh) was transferred from the post of the Mumbai Police Commissioner to the Home Guard Department in an arbitrary and illegal manner without the completing of the minimum fixed tenure of two years,” the petition said.


The 1988 IPS batch officer said his allegations against Mr. Deshmukh, which also form the content of an explosive letter, required an “unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair investigation” by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Singh said the court has to act quickly before the evidence against Mr. Deshmukh is “destroyed”.


He mentioned how another officer, Rashmi Shukla, who was Commissioner Intelligence, State Intelligence Department, was shunted out in August 2020 when she had endeavoured to expose the alleged can of worms about Mr. Deshmukh.


Mr. Singh said Ms. Shukla had collected evidence in the form of telephonic intercepts. She had notified the Maharashtra Director General of Police, who in turn had conveyed the information about Mr. Deshmukh to the Additional Chief Secretary.


“She was shunted out,” Mr. Singh said in his petition.


The former top cop said the official reason for his transfer was given as “administrative exigencies”.


However, he believes that the official file also noted that he was removed as Mumbai Police Commissioner “to ensure a free and fair investigation in the Antilla incident (Ambani residence bomb scare case)”.


He said he had assisted the investigation by the National Investigation Agency and the Anti-Terrorism Squad into the Antilia incident. There was no case against him that he had in any way obstructed the free and fair investigation into the bomb scare incident.


Mr. Singh said his transfer was based on “conjectures, surmises and pure speculation”. He complained that the transfer coupled with the adverse media publicity triggered against him by Mr. Deshmukh has violated his right to equality and dignity.

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