Mumbai: Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh, who had made allegations of extortion against ex-Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh and has been missing since May, arrived in the state capital Thursday.
Singh, who was declared as a proclaimed offender by a local court last week, arrived at Mumbai Airport’s terminal 2 from Chandigarh where he told reporters: “I will join the investigation as per the orders of the court.”
Singh returned to Mumbai after the Supreme Court Monday granted him interim protection from arrest. His lawyer had informed the court that Singh is very much in the country but feared there is a “threat to his life” as soon as he enters Maharashtra. The apex court will hear the Maharashtra government’s response on 6 December.
According to reports, after arriving in Mumbai, Singh appeared before the Mumbai Crime Branch Unit 11 at Kandivali in connection with an extortion case registered against him.
S. Chaitanya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), told ThePrint that he didn’t know about Singh’s return and didn’t want to comment.
Untraceable since May
Singh courted controversy in March this year when he wrote an explosive letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging that Deshmukh had instructed his officers, including now dismissed cop Sachin Waze, to extort money from Mumbai’s bars and restaurants.
The letter came after the Maharashtra government shunted Singh out from the post of Mumbai Police chief to Director General Home Guards following alleged lapses in the probe into the recovery of explosives outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai home, Antilia.
Following his letter to the CM, Singh filed a petition before the Bombay High Court asking for an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into his allegations against Deshmukh.
The HC ordered the CBI to conduct a preliminary probe, after which the central agency registered an FIR in the case, and the Enforcement Directorate too registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) to probe charges of money laundering.
Deshmukh resigned from the post of home minister in April and was arrested by the ED in November.
Singh went on leave in May and has been untraceable since then.
Last month, Singh filed a submission with the one-person Chandiwal Commission set up by the state government to probe the allegations made by him against Deshmukh that he did not want to show any evidence or want any cross-examination, ThePrint reported.
Earlier this week, Singh’s counsel told the panel that the contents of his letter to Thackeray were based on “hearsay from subordinates”.
Singh is facing multiple cases of extortion in Mumbai and Thane and hasn’t responded to summons issued by the police in all the cases. He also has three non-bailable warrants issued against him by local courts in Mumbai and Thane.
(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.