Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh has chosen to “remain silent” on Monday after the Bombay HC ordered Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to carry on a preliminary investigation into the allegations of corruption made by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh against Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh within 15 days.
“I have no comments,” said Param Bir Singh on being intercepted by the media following the hearing.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni said this was an “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” case that warranted an independent inquiry.
The court observed that there could not be an independent probe if it was given to police as Deshmukh is the home minister and said the interest of justice would be served if the CBI was allowed to conduct a preliminary inquiry.
“The CBI’s director is allowed to conduct a preliminary inquiry. Such preliminary inquiries be ordered in accordance with the law and be concluded within 15 days. Once the preliminary inquiry is complete, director CBI (will) be at discretion to (decide on) further course of action… We agree that this is an unprecedented case before the court…Deshmukh is Home Minister who leads the police… There has to be an independent inquiry… But, the CBI need not register an FIR immediately,” observed the high court.
Param Bir Singh had alleged that Anil Deshmukh had asked suspended police officer Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested by the NIA in the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case, to collect Rs 100 crore every month, including Rs 40-50 crore from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Singh made the allegations in an eight-page letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray last month. He has also challenged the government’s order to transfer him from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner.