Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday (May 24) gave protection from arrest to DG Maharashtra Home Guard and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh from arrest in an FIR filed by Police Inspector Bhimrao Ghadge in a 2015 case.
The matter adjourned was adjourned till June 9 as the case will be heard by a regular bench after summer vacation. Earlier on May 21, the High Court directed the Mumbai Police not to arrest Param Bir Singh in the case till May 23.
The Maharashtra government, however, said that it would not arrest the former Mumbai Police Commissioner in the case registered against him under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act provided he cooperates with the investigation into the case, said PTI report.
Senior counsel Darius Khambata, appearing for the state government, reportedly made the statement before a vacation bench of Justices S S Shinde and N R Borkar, which was hearing a petition filed by Singh, seeking to quash the FIR registered against him on a complaint of police inspector Bhimrao Ghadge.
Param Bir Singh’s counsel claimed that the case was a backlash over his allegations of corruption against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh.
Last week, Singh filed a petition in the apex court, alleging that he is being hounded and continuously harassed with multiple cases instituted against him by the Maharashtra government as vendetta after he complained to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray against former home minister Anil Deshmukh.
He urged the SC to shift all the inquiries set up against him to another state and also sought for the FIRs registered against him to be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Khambata, however, told the HC that Singh “cannot ride two horses” at a time and seek relief from both the high court and the Supreme Court in the same case. The bench accepted the state government’s statement that it would not arrest Singh till June 9, and directed him to not seek reliefs pertaining to this particular case before the SC.
Singh’s counsel Mahesh Jethmalani agreed to the directive, and the court then posted the petition for further hearing on June 9. Ghadge’s advocate Satish Talekar opposed the interim protection from arrest granted to Singh.
The court, however, noted that the case dates back to 2016, adding “The FIR has been filed after five years. You (complainant) waited for so long? nothing will happen if you wait for two more weeks. He (Singh) has not been arrested for all these years. What purpose will it serve if he is arrested now.”
The HC also expressed its displeasure with a statement of Singh in the petition filed by him in the apex court that says he was constrained to approach the SC as the high court was not hearing the matter.
Notably, the FIR against Singh is based on a complaint by police inspector Ghadge, now posted at Akola in Maharashtra. Ghadge made a series of allegations of corruption against Singh and other officers when Singh was posted in Thane.
The FIR, which is now transferred from Akola to Thane, claimed Singh pressured Ghadge to drop the names of some persons from a case and when he refused, the IPS officer framed him up in false cases.
The case has been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the state CID is conducting a probe into it.
(With Agency Inputs)