Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh has been told by the Supreme Court to file a case in the Bombay High Court first on his allegation of corruption against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
The Supreme Court before passing the order today asked Mr. Singh why he did not go to the high court before coming to them. When the top court pointed out that the person against whom his petition has been filed was not even made a party to the case, the former Mumbai Police officer’s lawyer, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, said the paperwork has been done to make the Nationalist Congress Party leader a party to the case.
Mr. Singh had made corruption allegations against the Home Minister last week in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
He sought an “impartial and fair investigation” by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the “various corrupt malpractices” of Mr. Deshmukh. He also challenged his transfer to the Home Guards, ordered by the Maharashtra government last week over lapses into the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case, when an SUV filled with gelatin sticks was found on a road near the Reliance Industries chairman house in Mumbai.
In his letter, he said Mr. Deshmukh had started an extortion racket with several officers, including Sachin Waze, who has been arrested in the explosives case. The officers were set a target of ₹ 100 crores a month and told to collect the money from pubs and restaurants, he wrote.
He also accused the minister of interfering in investigations, ordering officers to act on basis of his political agenda ignoring the chain of command.
“The matter needs urgent hearing as evidence might be destroyed,” Mr. Rohatgi said.
The Supreme Court replied, “We agree it’s a serious matter affecting administration at large. We grant liberty to move the high court.”
Mr. Singh’s appeal to the Supreme Court came as Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar questioned his motives. The officer, Mr Pawar has said, made his allegations after being moved out of the Mumbai top post and into the Home Guards following lapses in the Mukesh Ambani security scare probe.