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Monday, December 06, 2021

Mumbai: Court nod to declare Param Bir ‘absconding’

Following the order, Special Public Prosecutor Shekhar Jagtap said the police will now paste notices at Singh's known addresses and print them in newspapers directing him to appear before the investigating officer within 30 days.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai |
Updated: November 18, 2021 6:32:56 am
Former commissioner Param Bir Singh (File)

A local court Wednesday allowed an application filed by Mumbai Police for declaring former city police commissioner Param Bir Singh and two others as absconding accused in connection with an extortion case after the Crime Branch submitted that the three of them could not be found at any of their known addresses.

Following the order, Special Public Prosecutor Shekhar Jagtap said the police will now paste notices at Singh’s known addresses and print them in newspapers directing him to appear before the investigating officer within 30 days. In case of failure to do so, the police can initiate the process for the attachment of Singh’s properties.

Apart from Singh, the police had also sought to declare co-accused Vinay Singh and Riyaz Bhati as absconding. The court had earlier issued a non-bailable warrant against the three accused.

IPS officer Singh was posted as the Director General (Home Guards) after his removal from the post of Mumbai Police chief in March following the Ambani terror scare case and the allegations of corruption raised by him against then state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

In May, Singh went on medical leave and has not reported for duty since. Apart from the non-bailable warrant issued in this case from Goregaon, there are two other warrants issued against Singh in connection with other alleged extortion cases registered in Marine Drive and Thane.

The Goregaon case relates to a complaint filed by a hotelier and civic contractor who alleged that Singh, dismissed Assistant Inspector Sachin Waze, and the other accused, extorted cash and valuables worth Rs 11.92 lakh from him.

The police’s plea was moved under Section 82 of the CrPC, which has provisions for proclaiming as absconding a person against whom a warrant has been issued but could not be executed.

In its affidavit Wednesday, the Crime Branch submitted before the magistrate’s court that a team led by a senior inspector had visited Singh’s Malabar Hill home in Mumbai on November 10 after the non-bailable warrant was issued.

It stated that a security officer at the home told the police team that Singh had not visited in the past three months nor were his family members residing there. He told the team that he was unaware of Singh’s whereabouts.

The police also recorded the statement of Singh’s cook, who said that he had been working at the residence for the past 13 months. He also told the team that Singh and his family members had not stayed there in the past three months.

The affidavit also included statements of family members of the other two accused, Vinay and Bhati, who said that they were not at the residence since the alleged crime.

The police had recently arrested Waze, who is in NIA custody for his alleged involvement in the planting of explosives in an SUV near the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani and the subsequent murder of Thane resident Mansukh Hiran.

Among the grounds for seeking Waze’s custody, the police had said that they wanted to interrogate him about the whereabouts of Singh since the two “were close to each other”.

Apart from the three non-bailable warrants, a bailable warrant was also issued against Singh by the committee headed by (retired) Justice K U Chandiwal, which is looking into allegations made by the former top cop against Deshmukh.

Last month, Singh filed an affidavit through his lawyer to state that he had disclosed whatever was required and did not wish to make any further submissions.

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