Mumbai: A magistrate court on Thursday cancelled the proclamation it had issued mid-last month declaring former city police commissioner Param Bir Singh an ‘absconding accused’ in an extortion case lodged at Goregaon police station, upon his plea for the same.
Following the court’s order, the crime branch had pasted notices declaring the police officer absconding, including outside his flat in Juhu. Recently, Singh made his appearance in the city following the Supreme Court granting him protection from arrest. He then appeared before agencies and joined the probe, following which non-bailable warrants issued against him were cancelled by courts. On Monday, he made an application before an Esplanade court that had proclaimed him an absconder, to cancel the proclamation in the present case.
The court order declaring him absconding was in response to the crime branch’s application seeking the same. Strongly opposing the police officer’s plea, prosecutor Shekhar Jagtap had argued that merely because Singh has appeared now, it does not nullify the fact that a proclamation was issued by the court against him as he was absconding and concealing himself. The prosecutor said Singh had submitted before the apex court too that he would come out of hiding if he is protected. Thus, this proves that he was intentionally concealing himself and therefore, the proclamation should not be cancelled.
The crime branch in its response filed on Wednesday opposing the plea, had further said that Singh and his two co-accused Riyaz Bhati and Vinay Singh had not appeared before it for probe, despite sufficient opportunities given. The agency told the court that if any such plea of the accused was entertained it would be detrimental to the probe as the scheme of the provision is to compel an absconding accused to participate in the investigation. The crime branch had also planned to begin the legal process to attach Singh’s properties if he had not appeared within 30 days of the court’s proclamation.
With this development, the non-bailable warrant issued in the case is also deemed to be cancelled. It was the only NBW pending against Singh, with those in the Thane and Marine drive cases already cancelled in the past days.
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