The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed the plea filed by the Maharashtra government seeking a review of its order transferring the probe to the CBI against former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh over allegations of misconduct and corruption.
A bench of Justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh said the order does not suffer from any error apparent warranting its reconsideration.
“Application seeking permission for an oral hearing is rejected. We have perused the Review Petition and record of the Criminal Appeal and are convinced that the order of which review has been sought, does not suffer from any error apparent warranting its reconsideration. Accordingly, the Review petition is dismissed,” the bench said.
The state government had filed a plea seeking a review of the Supreme court’s March 24 order which had transferred to the CBI the investigation against Param Bir Singh saying “a very murky affair is going on amid echelons of power”.
The top court had said that a thorough investigation is required to regain the faith of people in the state police.
“The exigencies in the advancement of principles of justice require the investigation to be transferred to CBI. We are not saying appellant (Singh) is a whistle-blower or anyone involved in this case is washed with milk,” the Supreme court had said.
It had also refused to revoke the suspension of Singh and said all future FIRs too will be transferred to the CBI.
“We are unable to accept the contention that an FIR is registered by those who had complaints against the petitioner. We are of the view that the state itself should have allowed CBI to carry out the investigation.
“We are of the prima facie view that there is some concerted effort which needs the investigation by CBI. What is the truth, who is at fault how such a scenario comes to prevail is something which investigation must get into. CBI must hold an impartial inquiry into all these aspects,” the Supreme court had said.
On departmental enquiry against Param Bir Singh, the top court had said it would be appropriate to await the result of the investigation now entrusted to the CBI.
“We don’t know if this is the end of the road or more FIRs may be registered arising from the period the petitioner had served in Maharashtra. If any further FIRs are registered that too shall be transferred to CBI. Needless to say, we are not revoking the suspension. This order shall continue subject to any legal remedy as may be available to the appellant”, the bench had said.
Param Bir Singh is facing multiple cases of extortion, corruption, and misconduct, and was removed from the post of Mumbai police chief over his alleged mishandling of the Antilia bomb scare case.
The top court had granted him a major relief on November 22, 2021, when it directed the Maharashtra Police not to arrest him in criminal cases lodged against him, and wondered if he was being hounded for filing cases against police officers and extortionists, “what could happen to a common man”.
The Maharashtra Police had earlier told the Supreme court that Singh cannot be considered a “whistleblower” under the law as he chose to speak out against alleged corruption involving former state home minister Anil Deshmukh only after he was transferred.
Seeking dismissal of Param Bir Singh’s plea for a CBI probe into the entire matter and against any coercive action by the state, the Maharashtra government had filed an affidavit in the Supreme court and said that the ongoing investigation in criminal cases against the former top police officer should not be interfered with.
Prior to this, the Bombay High Court had dismissed Param Bir Singh’s petition seeking quashing of inquiries initiated against him by the Maharashtra government and said he can approach the Central Administrative Tribunal, holding it was a service matter. It had rejected his claim that the government’s action was a consequence of his allegations of corruption against Anil Deshmukh.