Updated: June 14, 2021 12:13:57 pm
The Bombay High Court on Monday adjourned till June 22 hearing on pleas filed by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh seeking quashing of an FIR lodged against him by Thane Police under the Atrocities Act and another plea challenging preliminary inquiries initiated against him.
The Maharashtra government continued its earlier statement and assured the HC that it will not take coercive steps, including arresting Singh, till the next hearing in connection to the Thane FIR.
A division bench of Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Surendra P Tavade adjourned the hearing to June 22 as a bench led by Justice S S Shinde, which is hearing the matters regularly, was not available on Monday.
Senior Counsel Darius Khambata appearing for the state submitted that the government would continue its earlier statement of no coercive action against Singh in the Thane case till the next hearing, which the Court accepted.
A total of 27 sections, including those under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, were added in an FIR lodged on a complaint filed by Police Inspector Bhimrao Ghadge, alleging that Singh had coerced him into dropping the names of a few persons from an FIR in 2015, and registered FIRs against him when he did not accept the orders.
Ghadge’s FIR against Singh was registered initially by the Akola police from where it was transferred to Thane police and eventually is being probed by the state CID.
On June 22, the court will also hear an intervention plea by Khar-based developer Kartik Bhatt alleging that earlier this year, Singh, through his two officers, had tried to extort Rs. 200 crores for an SRA project that Bhatt had undertaken in Chembur. Bhatt alleged that he had already paid Singh extortion money in 2018 for the same project.
The bench also adjourned the June 22 hearing on a plea by senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla and former Commissioner, state intelligence department, against an “illegal” phone-tapping case, registered by Mumbai Police. The state government assured the court of no coercive steps including arrest against Shukla till then.
The HC, on May 6 had granted the Maharashtra government permission to send a team to Hyderabad to record the statement of senior IPS officer Rashmi Shukla in connection with an FIR registered by Mumbai Police. The FIR relates to the alleged leaking of sensitive documents related to police postings in Maharashtra.
The FIR was registered under the Official Secrets Act, 1923, at the BKC cyber police station against unidentified persons for allegedly tapping phones and leaking certain confidential documents on the complaint filed by the State Intelligence Department.
The FIR also invoked Section 30 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and Section 43(B) of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The alleged tapping of phones had taken place when Shukla headed the Maharashtra intelligence department.
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