SC protects former top Mumbai cop from arrest, tells him to join probe

Wednesday 24th November 2021 05:53 EST

In a relief to former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh, who went underground fearing arrest in criminal cases lodged against him and was subsequently declared an absconder, the Supreme Court granted him protection from arrest while asking him to join investigations after his counsel said the cop was very much in the country and had not gone abroad.

While granting relief to Singh, the court expressed deep concern over the ongoing battle between him and former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, who is also being probed by the CBI and the ED on the allegations levelled by the senior IPS officer that the NCP functionary had asked for collection of bribes amounting to £10 million. It said if a former police chief could not trust the force he had served, where would a common person go for justice.

As the apex court earlier put a condition that he reveal his whereabouts for getting a hearing, Singh's counsel at the outset told a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M M Sundresh that the the officer had not fled the country and was hiding in the country fearing a threat to his life from Maharashtra Police.

A magistrate court in Bombay earlier declared Singh a “proclaimed offender” in an extortion case registered against him and some other police officers. Singh had last attended his office in May this year after which he went on leave. The state police had told the Bombay High Court last month that his whereabouts were not known.

Bimal Agrawal, a real estate developer and hotelier, had alleged the accused extorted Rs 900,000 from him for not conducting raids on two bars and restaurants which he ran in partnership, and also forced him to buy two smartphones worth around Rs 292,000 for them.

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