The Supreme Court on Thursday said that former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh will not be granted protection from investigations until the absconding officer discloses his whereabouts, Bar and Bench reported.

The court made the remarks in response to a petition challenging a judgement of the Bombay High Court passed on September 16. The High Court had dismissed Singh’s petition challenging two preliminary inquiries initiated against him by the Maharashtra government.

The former Mumbai Police commissioner also faces four cases of extortion in Maharashtra.

At Thursday’s hearing, the bench of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh refused to grant Singh any relief in the matter.

“No protection, no hearing till we have an answer to the question – where are you?” the court said.

The judges asked the Singh’s lawyer whether the former Mumbai Police chief was in the country or abroad, NDTV reported.

“We will come to the remaining [matters],” the court said. “First, we need to know where you are.”

The Supreme Court’s remark came a day after a magistrate’s court in Mumbai on Wednesday declared Singh a proclaimed offender in an extortion case. The court also declared two co-accused in the case – Vinay Singh and Riyaz Bhatti – as proclaimed offenders.

According to Section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, proclaimed offenders are accused persons who have a warrant against them and are absconding. Under the section the court can issue a notice to proclaimed offenders to appear within 30 days.

Last month, the Maharashtra government had told the Bombay High Court that Singh could not be traced. There is speculation that Singh might have fled India.

In March, Singh had earlier accused Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of extorting money from owners of bars, restaurants and hookah parlours in Mumbai. A month later, the Bombay High Court had directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the allegations.

The Supreme Court will hear the matter next on November 22.