Mumbai's former Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh (58) on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the "corrupt practices of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh before the evidences are destroyed.’’ He has also sought quashing of the March 17 order of his transfer by Deshmukh.
Singh is understood to have engaged senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who was the attorney general of India in the first Modi dispensation, to plead for an urgent hearing, possibly on Tuesday, before the Chief Justice of India, before the court goes into a week's holiday after Friday on account of Holi.
Singh has prayed for an immediate CBI inquiry, which is unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair, into the various alleged corrupt malpractices of Deshmukh. The petition has accused Deshmukh of interfering in various investigations and instructing the police officers to conduct the same in a particular manner, without keeping him posted as the overall in-charge of police and law and order in the metropolis.
He has also sought a direction to quash and set aside his transfer order passed by Deshmukh as illegal and arbitrary and cited several grounds, including the fact that the transfer was effected without his completion of the minimum fixed tenure of two years vide the law laid down by the Apex Court in 2013 in the case of TSR Subramanian vs Union of India. He was appointed to the post only on February 29, 2020.
The other ground taken by him are: Clear non-compliance with the provisions of the Indian Police Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954, as amended in 2014, and contrary to the law laid down in 2017 in the case of T P Senkumar vs Union of India, holding that transfer of an officer from a sensitive tenure post requires serious consideration and good reasons that can be tested.
In his third prayer, Singh has sought directions to safeguard him from "any coercive steps apprehended in retaliation for laying bare the corrupt malpractices of Deshmukh."
He has also sought an immediate seizure of the CCTV footage of Deshmukh's residence before it is destroyed as the footage will show the home minister holding meetings in February with the police officers, including Sachin Vaze of Crime Intelligence Unit, Mumbai, and Sanjay Patil, ACP Social Service branch, Mumbai, bypassing their seniors. The petition also alleged that Deshmukh had set a target of collection of Rs 100 crore every month, directing Vaze and others to recover the money from various establishments and sources.
Singh has also sought a CBI probe into the report submitted by his 1988 IPS batchmate Rashmi Shukla, a former director general, of alleged wrongdoings in transfer and postings in the Maharashtra police. Shukla was tipped to be Mumbai's first woman commissioner of police before Singh was appointed. She was the second woman police commissioner of Pune in 2016. Her husband, Uday Shukla, also a senior IPS officer, died in 2018.