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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Protection from arrest for Singh ends tomorrow, investigative agencies await Supreme Court order

The investigating agencies believe that Singh could again go into hiding if the Supreme Court refuses to grant him further protection.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: December 5, 2021 12:32:11 am
Param Bir SinghParam Bir Singh (File photo)

With the protection from arrest granted by the Supreme Court to former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh set to end on Monday, the probe agencies in Maharashtra are contemplating their next move if SC refuses to extend Singh’s protection.

A string of FIRs have been registered against Singh after he wrote an open letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in March, raising allegations of corruption against then home minister Anil Deshmukh.

Singh, who has currently been named in five cases of extortion, including the one in which he was chargesheeted by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Saturday, went on leave in May. He was untraceable till he turned up before the Crime Branch on November 25 following SC’s directions.

While granting him protection, the SC had directed Singh to appear before the investigating agency. Following his, Singh arrived in Mumbai on November 25 and appeared before Crime Branch unit 11, which is investigating an extortion complaint filed by a hotelier and civic contractor, Bimal Agarwal.

Since then he has appeared before the Chandiwal commission, the Thane Police and the state Criminal Investigation Department, which are probing the corruption allegations he had made against Deshmukh and four other FIRs registered against Singh.

On Saturday, officers said they are keeping a close watch on Monday’s Supreme Court judgment. “We are yet to decide our future course of action. We will go through the detailed order passed by the Supreme Court on Monday, following which we will come up with a plan of action,” said an officer.

Singh, who held the post of Director General (Home Guard), was suspended by the Maharashtra government on Thursday. He has been uncommunicative since then, said a senior IPS officer.

When contacted, Singh’s lawyer R Mokashi said, “He is very much in Maharashtra. He has just switched off his phone to stay away from the press.”

The investigating agencies believe that Singh could again go into hiding if the Supreme Court refuses to grant him further protection.

When The Indian Express inquired with the investigative agency where Singh used to stay after he left Mumbai, an officer said, “We cannot divulge details as of now. What I can say is that he did not share many details about the places he stayed during the said time period.”

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