Retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro, who NCP chief Sharad Pawar suggested should head the inquiry into Param Bir Singh’s accusations, has refused to take the bait.
“If I am asked, I will refuse. Please understand that I am 92 years old. I do not have the ability to conduct such inquiries. Even if I had the ability, I would have refused, because this is a very murky affair and it is not meant for people like me,” said Ribeiro, who has served as the Mumbai Police commissioner and the DGP of Punjab and Gujarat.
The NCP chief -- possibly in good faith -- had suggested: "There has to be an in-depth inquiry by such an officer who enjoys respect. I suggest Julio Ribeiro should head the inquiry.’’
But the super cop refused to be drawn into the controversy, almost suggesting that it was a red herring. “Also, why should I lead an investigation against the sitting Home Minister? The probe must be conducted by Sharad Pawar himself. He is the head of the party.’’
Ribeiro further clarified his position in an exclusive interview to NDTV. "I would not touch this with a barge-pole... this is a very tricky situation and I do not know where all this is headed. It is better for politicians to sort it out themselves," he added.
Ribeiro is also not convinced Param Bir’s role was entirely above board. The Mumbai police chief, he said, should have gone to the home minister and asked him to put a stop to the illegalities. If the home minister had refused, he should have offered to resign. "That's what a very honest and straightforward officer should have done," Ribeiro told NDTV.
Asked about Sachin Vaze, Ribeiro said the officer could not have done what he did on his own. ‘‘How could he (Sachin Waze) have done that without blessings from somebody? He is just an assistant police inspector which is a very, very junior rank," the former DGP added.