The Supreme Court Thursday told absconding former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh that it will not hear an appeal filed by him until it knows his whereabouts.
“No protection, no hearing till we have an answer to the question — where are you,” a bench of Justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh told the lawyers appearing for Singh.
The senior police officer had approached the SC against the High Court’s September 16 judgement dismissing his plea challenging the two preliminary inquiries initiated against him by the Maharashtra government.
Singh’s petition was filed through a power of attorney holder.
Taking note, the bench told his counsel, “Your petition has been filed by your power of attorney holder. But where are you? Are you in the country or outside….Are you in some state…We could be wrong but if you are somewhere abroad and waiting for Supreme Court orders, how can we give it?”
The counsel said that he (Singh) can “get out of the hole” if he is “allowed to breathe”, but this did not go down well with the bench, which said it reflected his confidence in the system.
The bench made it clear that it was not going to treat him any differently and adjourned the hearing for November 22.
On Wednesday, a Mumbai court had allowed a plea by the Mumbai police to declare Singh and two others proclaimed offenders. Singh was removed from the post of Mumbai Police chief in March and transferred as Director General (Home Guards), where he has not reported since May 4 after initially going on sick leave.
Mumbai Police had moved the court in connection with a case registered on the complaint by hotelier Bimal Agarwal, levelling extortion charges against Singh and dismissed Mumbai cop Sachin Waze.
In October, the Maharashtra government had told the Bombay High Court that Param Bir Singh could not be traced.