Supreme Court refuses to hear Mumbai Police ex-chief’s plea seeking transfer of inquiries

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh leaving National Investigation Agency (NIA) office, in Mumbai. File   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

The Supreme Court on Friday told Mumbai Police former chief Param Bir Singh that “people who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others” while refusing to entertain his plea seeking the transfer of the inquiries/case against him outside Maharshtra to be investigated by an independent agency. He has alleged that the State government is trying to “frame” him for levelling corruption charges against NCP leader Anil Deshmukh, who had to resign as Home Minister.

Along with Mr. Singh’s petition, the Bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian was also considering an application filed by Mumbai Police Inspector Bhimraj Rohidas Ghadge, who accused Mr. Singh, in turn, of corruption and vindictiveness.

Mr. Ghadge, represented by senior advocate S.B. Talekar and advocate Vipin Nair, accused his former boss of having tried to “silence” him by framing fake cases against him.

“It is commonly said that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others,” Justice Gupta told senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for Mr. Singh.

‘Prejudicial statement’

Mr. Jethmalani raised an objection to the comment, saying it was a “prejudicial statement” and amounted to “pre-judging” the case. The court, however, was not impressed.

Mr. Singh alleged that the government had instituted departmental inquiries against him as an act of reprisal for his complaint about Mr. Deshmukh.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was present in court for the CBI.

However, the court saw it differently. “You [Singh] are part of the Maharashtra IPS cadre. You have served the State for 30 years, and now you don’t have confidence in your own State. It is shocking… It is a shocking allegation you are making,” Justice Gupta addressed Mr. Jethmalani.

The senior lawyer said there were other police officers in Maharashtra who, like his client, had been “victimised” by the State government. He claimed that the Maharashtra DGP had approached him as a “mentor” to give up on his complaint.

‘Make-believe stories’

“If a person in the rank of DGP can be pressurised, then there is nobody left… Please do not make these make-believe stories,” Justice Gupta told Mr. Jethmalani.

The court said it cannot possibly intervene and stay the registration of FIR against Mr. Singh.

“Mr. Jethmalani, you are an experienced criminal lawyer. How can there be a blanket stay by a court on the power of the police to register an FIR against any person” Justice Gupta asked.

The court had initially dismissed the case, but later allowed it to be withdrawn on the request made by both senior advocate Puneet Bali, also for Mr. Singh, and Mr. Jethmalani.

Mr. Singh had alleged a “witch-hunt” against him. Earlier in March, the Supreme Court refused to intervene in a petition filed by Mr. Singh for a CBI investigation against Mr. Deshmukh. The court, at that time, asked Mr. Singh to approach the Bombay High Court with his plea for an investigation by an independent agency.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2021 10:26:24 AM |

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