Updated: December 7, 2021 5:17:41 am
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Maharashtra Police not to file any chargesheet in the cases against former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh but allowed it to continue probing the matters.
A bench headed by Justice S K Kaul also extended its November 22 interim order restraining his arrest and observed that what it could gather from the submissions of the state is that some other agency should probe it.
The bench also comprising Justice M M Sundresh, which was considering a plea by Singh, also sought the CBI’s response on his prayer that the investigation in the cases should be entrusted to the central agency as these are linked to matters already under the CBI lens.
Singh has challenged the September 16 Bombay High Court judgement dismissing his petition against two preliminary inquiries initiated against him by the state government ordered by the State Home Department for allegedly violating service rules and over corruption charges.
Appearing for CBI, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the agency is ready to probe the matter if the case is entrusted to it.
The bench however insisted that the agency place its stand in an affidavit and gave it one week time to do it.
Senior Advocate Daius Khambata said that Singh’s grievance basically related to service matter which should be looked into by the Central Administrative Tribunal. The SC however said “prima facie” it found the argument “difficult to accept”.
The bench said it did not want to get into the niceties, but asked why the present matter can’t also be assigned to the CBI as the related matters are already pending with it.
Khambata said Singh was not a whistleblower and that the Bombay HC had reserved orders on its plea seeking court-monitored probe in the cases against the former commissioner as the present CBI chief S K Jaiswal was chairman of the police establishment board when the contentious transfers and postings took place and would also be a witness.
The bench then responded “Mr Khambata from your submissions…we think that some other agency should consider the matter…”.
Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi told the bench that the CBI had filed its objections to the state’s writ petition before the HC. He submitted that the state had moved the HC after the central probe agency summoned the present Maharashtra DGP Sanjay Pande.
Singh’s counsel Senior Advocate Puneet Bali told the bench that state was acting with malafide intention and had filed charesheet in one of the cases.
Seeking an independent inquiry, Bali said “kindly look at the tearing hurry”. He sought to know whether it is fair for the State police to file chargesheet once cognisance has been taken by” the SC “as to whether the FIR’s should be transferred to CBI, is it fair that they file challans.”
Following the submission, the SC directed that no chargesheet be filed, but investigation can go on. The bench will now hear the matter on January 11, 2022.