The Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh challenging two preliminary inquiries against him, the Hindustan Times reported.
The court directed Singh to approach the Central Administrative Tribunal instead.
While one of the preliminary inquiries pertains to alleged dereliction of duty and misconduct, the other one is related to corruption charges. Both of them were initiated by the Maharashtra government.
Singh, in his petition before the Bombay High Court, contended that the inquiries were an attempt to thwart an investigation into former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
Singh has accused Deshmukh of extorting money from owners of bars, restaurants and hookah parlours in Mumbai. The former state minister had denied the accusations, but resigned from the Cabinet on April 5 after the Bombay High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the allegations.
In response to Singh’s petition before the High Court, the Maharashtra government argued that the matter was covered by the Administrative Tribunals Act, Bar and Bench reported.
Singh had also objected to Director General of Police Sanjay Pandey conducting the investigation against him. On this point, the state government told the court that Pandey had recused himself from the investigation, and so the grievance stood resolved.
Senior advocate Darius Khambata, appearing for the Maharashtra government, contended that Singh’s petition was a “complete bogus case” that was filed to “create a cloud to stop legitimate enquiries.”
Khambata claimed that if the former Mumbai Police chief’s argument was to be accepted, every person would seek immunity on the grounds that they had made some allegations.
A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar had reserved its verdict on July 28. The court on Thursday dismissed Singh’s petition.
Other cases against Singh
The Maharashtra Police have filed a total of four extortion cases against Param Bir Singh. Two of these cases have been filed in Mumbai, while the other two have been filed in the neighbouring Thane district.
The most recent of these cases was filed at the Goregaon Police Station on August 20 following a complaint by a 48-year-old businessman identified as Bimal Agarwal.
On September 7, an inquiry commission headed by a retired Bombay High Court judge issued a bailable warrant against Singh.
The commission was formed by the Maharashtra government to investigate the corruption allegations levelled by Singh against Deshmukh.
The former Mumbai Police chief has skipped appearing before the commission thrice since its constitution.