Param Bir Singh fined Rs 5,000 for not appearing before Maharashtra govt-appointed commission
Photo Credit: PTI

Mumbai: The high-level enquiry committee led by Justice (retd.) Kailash Chandiwal on Tuesday imposed a cost of Rs 5,000 on former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, for having failed to appear before the commission twice.

The commission, which is investigating the corruption allegations levelled by Singh against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, has now ordered Singh to appear before it and submit his say in the matter on July 5. He will have to appear before the panel personally or through an advocate.

The Maharashtra government had, on March 30, appointed a oneman committee of Justice (retd.) Kailash Chandiwal to probe the allegations levelled by Singh that Deshmukh had instructed arrested Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze to extort at least Rs 100 crore per month from all the restaurants and bars in the city. Meanwhile, Vaze was produced before the commission on Tuesday morning.

Confirming the developments, Bhaiyyasaheb Behere, the registrar of this enquiry commission said, “The commission had issued summons to Singh on May 11, asking him to appear before it on June 11. When he failed to do so, he was asked to present himself on June 15. However, he failed to do so even on this occasion.”

“Since May, he has maintained that he isn’t well and is on leave. He has been extending his leave, too. Thus, on Tuesday the commission deemed it fit to impose a cost of Rs 5,000 on Singh,” Behere said. The registrar further informed that Justice Chandiwal had ordered Singh to deposit the cost to the Chief Minister’s Covid-19 relief fund. “He has been given a final chance to appear before the panel or to file his say in the matter by July 5,” Behere added.

Further, Behere confirmed that Vaze was physically produced before the panel. “Summons were issued to him too. But since he is in judicial custody, we moved an application before the special NIA court which ordered the jail authorities to produce the arrest policeman before the commission,” he said, adding, “Since he was produced for the first time, the commission has allowed him to engage a lawyer and has also ordered to hand over to him a copy of the complaint and other relevant documents, which he will give his lawyer on Wednesday morning.”

Notably, the state government’s general administration department (GAD) had allotted 1,000 sq ft space on the second floor of the Old Secretariat building in south Bombay for the use of the commission. “However, that space is yet to be given to us. The allotment is only on paper,” Behere alleged. According to Behere, the public works department (PWD) was to take over the possession of this vacant space and make the necessary arrangements there for the commission to operate. But he claims that the PWD is yet to get possession of the space, since the Home Guards department hasn’t handed it over. “We have done follow-ups but the space is yet to be given to us physically. Thus, we are presently functioning from a small room in the revenue tribunal building,” the registrar added.

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