31 Mar 2021: 'Why didn't you approach police against Deshmukh?' HC asks Singh
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh why he had not taken action against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
The court was hearing a plea by Singh wherein he accused Deshmukh of corruption. The Minister has denied any wrongdoing.
The plea seeks a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the allegations against Deshmukh.
Court: Without FIR, court cannot intervene: HC
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni on Wednesday heard Singh's Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
The bench said that without an FIR, the court cannot intervene in the matter or direct any independent agency such as the CBI to lead a probe.
The bench asked Singh why he had approached the police with his allegations before moving the court.
Quote: 'You were duty-bound to register complaint,' HC tells Singh
PTI quoted Chief Justice Datta as saying, "You (Singh) are a senior police officer. You are not a layman. You were duty-bound to register a complaint against any wrongdoing. Despite knowing that an offense is being committed by your boss, you (Singh) remained silent."
According to Bar and Bench, the Chief Justice had asked, "Are you saying that you don't trust the state police?"
Plea: Singh seeks CBI probe in plea
Singh has sought a CBI probe into his allegations against Deshmukh and has also sought directions to ensure that transfer/posting of police officials is not done on any consideration of pecuniary benefits to any politician.
Further, the former top cop sought directions to the probing agency to take immediate custody of the entire CCTV footage from the residence of Deshmukh to prevent destruction.
Allegations: What are the allegations against Deshmukh?
Earlier this month, in an eight-page sensational letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh had claimed that Deshmukh had asked the suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze to collect Rs. 100 crore each month through illegal means.
Singh had also accused Deshmukh of interfering in police cases, alleging that the Home Minister would instruct cops on how to handle probes, bypassing him.
Context: Singh raised allegations after transfer to low-key post
Singh had raised the allegations mere days after he was transferred as Mumbai Police chief to a low-key post in the Home Guard.
The Maharashtra Home Ministry had ordered the transfer citing "unforgivable" lapses in the probe into the high-profile Mukesh Ambani bomb threat case.
After the transfer, Singh had alleged that he was being "scapegoated," pointing fingers at Deshmukh.