The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that there was no doubt that the issues raised by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh in his plea against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh were “quite serious”. The court, however, allowed Singh to withdraw his plea seeking direction for an “impartial and fair” Central Bureau of Investigation probe into alleged corrupt malpractices of Deshmukh.
A bench of Justices Sanjya Kishan Kaul and R S Reddy granted liberty to Singh to approach the Bombay high court with his grievances. The top court said there is no doubt that the matter is “quite serious” but the petitioner should first approach the Bombay high court.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Singh, said they would file a petition in the high court today itself.
At the outset, the bench told Rohatgi that there are two preliminary questions – one is why Article 32 petition has been filed in the top court and the petitioner has not approached the high court under Article 226 and the other one is why Singh has not impleaded the state home minister as a party in his plea.
Rohatgi said that he will implead Deshmukh as a party in the matter and the application in this regard is ready.
He said that this is a serious matter which has affected the administration of the state.
The bench said that court is of the view that the petitioner should approach the high court and if he wants investigation by an independent agency, the high court can deal with this.
Rohatgi said he will approach the high court on Wednesday itself and the apex court can say that the high court should take it up tomorrow.
He submitted that there is evidence in the form of CCTV which is in the possession of ATS and that has not been handed over to the NIA.
The National Investigating Agency is probing a case related to the February 25 incident in which a car with explosives was found outside the house of businessman Mukesh Ambani leading to a bomb scare.
“In view of the aforesaid, the petitioner seeks to withdraw the petition with liberty to approach the high court,” the bench said while grating liberty to Singh to approach the high court.
On Rohatgi’s submission that the high court be asked to take up Singh’s plea on Thursday, the bench said the petitioner can make this request before the high court.
Singh, a 1988 batch IPS officer, has also sought quashing of the order transferring him from the post of Mumbai CP alleging it to be “arbitrary” and “illegal”.
As an interim relief, he has sought a stay of the operation of his transfer order and direction to state government, the Centre, and CBI to immediately take in its custody the CCTV footage from the residence of Deshmukh.
“The petitioner has invoked writ jurisdiction of this court to seek unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair investigation in the corrupt malpractices of Anil Deshmukh, the Home Minister of Government of Maharashtra before the evidence are destroyed,” he has said in his plea.
“Deshmukh had been holding meetings in February 2021 at his residence with police officers including Sachin Vaze of Crime Intelligence Unit, Mumbai and Sanjay Patil, ACP Social Service Branch, Mumbai, bypassing their seniors and had instructed them that he had a target to accumulate Rs 100 crore every month and had directed to collect money from various establishments and other sources,” Singh has alleged.