'Quite serious', says SC on issues raised by Param Bir Singh in plea against Deshmukh

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New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) The Supreme Court Wednesday said there was no doubt that the issues raised by former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh in his plea against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh were 'quite serious', but asked him to approach the Bombay High Court with his grievances.

The court allowed Singh to withdraw his plea seeking direction for an 'impartial and fair' CBI probe into alleged corrupt practices of Deshmukh.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R S Reddy granted liberty to Singh to approach the Bombay High Court with his grievances.

“There is no doubt that the matter is quite serious”, the bench observed.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Singh, said they would file a petition in the high court today itself and the apex court can say that the high court should take it up on Thursday.

At the outset, the bench told Rohatgi that there are two preliminary questions -- one is why Article 32 petition has been filed in the top court and the petitioner has not approached the high court under Article 226, and why Singh has not impleaded the state home minister as a party in his plea.

Rohatgi said that he will implead Deshmukh as a party in the matter and the application in this regard is ready.

He said that this is a serious matter which has affected the administration of the state.

The bench said the court is of the view that the petitioner should approach the high court and if he wants investigation by an independent agency, the high court can deal with this.

Rohatgi submitted that there was evidence in the form of CCTV footage, which was in the possession of ATS and that has not been handed over to the National Investigating Agency.

NIA is probing the case related to the February 25 incident in which a car with explosives was found outside the house of India's richest man Mukesh Ambani leading to a bomb scare.

'In view of the aforesaid, the petitioner seeks to withdraw the petition with liberty to approach the High Court,' the bench said while grating liberty to Singh to approach the high court.

On Rohatgi's submission that the high court be asked to take up Singh's plea on Thursday, the bench said the petitioner can make this request before the high court.

Singh, a 1988 batch IPS officer, has also sought quashing of the order transferring him from the post of Mumbai's Commissioner of Police alleging it was “arbitrary” and “illegal”.

As an interim relief, he has sought stay of the operation of his transfer order and direction to state government, the Centre and CBI to immediately take in its custody the CCTV footage from the residence of Deshmukh.

“The petitioner has invoked writ jurisdiction of this court to seek unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair investigation in the corrupt malpractices of Anil Deshmukh, the Home Minister of Government of Maharashtra, before the evidences are destroyed,” he has said in his plea.

“Deshmukh had been holding meetings in February, 2021 at his residence with police officers including Sachin Vaze of Crime Intelligence Unit, Mumbai and Sanjay Patil, ACP Social Service Branch, Mumbai, bypassing their seniors and had instructed them that he had a target to accumulate Rs 100 crore every month and had directed to collect money from various establishments and other sources,” Singh has alleged. PTI ABA MNL SA