Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh appeared for questioning before officers of the Crime Branch in connection with an extortion case against him, ANI reported.

Singh will be summoned for questioning as and when needed for investigation in the matter, a Crime Branch official said.

Singh’s lawyer told reporters that he will continue to cooperate in the investigation.

Earlier on Thursday, the former Mumbai Police chief reached the city to join the investigation, days after a magistrate’s court in Mumbai had declared him a “proclaimed offender”.

According to Section 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 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.

Singh, who is facing several extortion cases in Maharashtra had been absconding since last month before making his first public appearance on Thursday.

On Thursday, Singh was questioned in relation to a case filed on the basis of a complaint filed by Mumbai-based developer Bimal Agarwal.

Agarwal had alleged that Singh and dismissed Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze had extorted Rs 9 lakh from him for sparing his two bars from raids. The developer also complained that Vaze and Singh had forced him to buy two smartphones for them which cost Rs 2.29 lakh.

Singh arrived in Mumbai on Thursday only after the Supreme Court had on Monday granted him interim protection from arrest but asked him to join the investigations in the cases against him. The court on November 18 had refused to grant him protection until the officer disclosed his whereabouts.

During Monday’s proceedings in the Supreme Court, Singh’s lawyer senior advocate Puneet Bali had said that the former police chief was in the country but there was “threat to [his] life from Mumbai Police the moment he touches Maharashtra”.

Other allegations against Singh

In October, the Thane Police had registered five FIRs under the Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe (Atrocities Prevention) Act, the Civil Rights Protection Act and the Maharashtra Police Act against Singh and 32 others based on a complaint from Police Inspector Bhimrao Ghadge.

Ghadge had alleged that Singh, while he was posted as the Thane police chief in 2015, had asked him not to chargesheet certain persons against whom FIRs had been registered. Ghadge also alleged that he was suspended for refusing to follow Singh’s orders.

He had subsequently approached the State Human Rights Commission against Singh but was not granted relief. In 2018, he approached the Bombay High Court.