The Supreme Court today granted protection from arrest to former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh, who has been missing since October, and invited him to join investigations into extortion claims against him. His lawyer stated that he is “not absconding” and that he is now in India.
“The officer will take part in the investigation. However, he will not be detained “the Supreme Court of the United States Last Monday, the court declined to offer the former top cop any such protection, demanding that he first identify his whereabouts.
Param Bir Singh’s counsel told the Supreme Court that his client “does not want to flee and does not want to run anywhere,” but that he is in danger of losing his life.
“I don’t want it to look to the court that I’m scared. I have complete trust in the system. I am prepared to testify in front of a CBI Court. I’m being pursued. Six charges have been filed against me. I’m in a bad way. Please provide me with protection. I was the most senior police officer in the department, and I’m not going anywhere “Mr Singh stated his case.
“The moment he touches Maharashtra land, he fears a danger from the Mumbai Police,” Mr Singh’s counsel added.
“There are people like bookies and others who have filed FIRs against him because they engaged in criminal operations,” he stated.
The court was perplexed as to how a former police chief could feel threatened by the force he was in charge of.
“What sort of message does it send if the former Mumbai police commissioner says he is under threat from the Mumbai Police?” Justice SK Kaul wondered.
Mr Singh is accused of extortion in at least four incidents, and indications suggest he may have departed the country.
He told the court that he first learned about Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh’s “extortion” through his juniors and wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, requesting action. He claimed he went to the Supreme Court to request a CBI investigation.
“The DGP (Maharashtra police chief) requested that I remove my letter in March. He requested that I reconcile with the Home Minister. I forwarded that communication to the CBI, which opened an investigation into Deshmukh.”
The Supreme Court had repeatedly requested Mr Singh’s location during the previous hearing on Thursday.
“Where have you gone? Are you a citizen of this country or a foreigner? Are you in some sort of state? Where have you gone? We’ll get to the rest later. First and foremost, we must determine your location… We won’t be able to safeguard you until we know where you are “According to the court.
“Nobody knows where you are, therefore you’re seeking protective orders. What happens if you’re sitting in a foreign country and seeking legal help through a power of attorney?”
Mr Singh’s counsel argued that if he is “let to breathe,” he can “escape out of the hole.” The judges reacted angrily: “Take a look at the lack of trust in the system. We won’t treat him any differently because he was the police commissioner. He’s looking for safety. Are you implying that he will only come to India if he is protected by the courts?”
Mr Singh last came to work in May and then went on leave. The Mumbai Police Department stated in court that they had no idea where he was.
Mr Singh might be branded a “absconder” by a Mumbai court on November 17, which would make him a fugitive.
The Shining Media is an independent news website and channel, covering updates from the world of Politics, Entertainment, Sports, International, National, and a lot more.