Why didn’t you approach the police against Deshmukh? HC asks Param Bir Singh | India News
Singh recently claimed that Deshmukh asked police officer Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 million from bars and restaurants.
The minister has denied wrongdoing.
A bank in the division of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Judge GS Kulkarni asked Singh why he did not file a complaint with the police first, and said that without an FIR the HC cannot intervene or order an independent agency like the IWC carry out an investigation.
“You (Singh) are a high-ranking police officer. You are not a layman. You had an obligation to file a complaint against any wrongdoing. Despite knowing that your boss is committing an offense, you (Singh) remained silent.” . Said Chief Justice Datta.
The HC was listening to a criminal public interest (PIL) litigation filed at the HC on March 25 by Singh, seeking a CBI investigation against Deshmukh.
The court further noted that Singh cannot make the HC a magistrate court.
“The proper and appropriate course of action would be for you (Singh) to first file a complaint with the police. If the police do not file an FIR, then you have the option of filing an application with the magistrate,” the court said.
Singh’s lawyer, Vikram Nankani, said his client wanted to avoid this “chakravyuh” (labyrinth).
The HC, however, pointed out that this was the procedure established by law.
“Are you saying that you are above the law?” Asked Chief Justice Datta.
Nankani argued that he had no choice but to contact the HC, since the complaint and the accusations were against the “same head of the state administration.”
The court further asked Nankani if the Interior Minister in Singh’s presence had made any statements, as Singh alleges in the petition against Deshmukh that he asked the police officers to extort money.
“Were any of these statements made by the interior minister in Singh’s presence? Otherwise, they are just rumors,” the court said.
The HC further said that there is no affidavit submitted by any of the police officers who were allegedly called by Deshmukh to his residence, supporting the accusations made by Singh.
The bank said that without an FIR it cannot approve an order directing an independent agency to investigate the matter.
“Our prima facie opinion is that without an FIR, this court cannot order an investigation. Your prayer for direction for the IWC to investigate appears to be harsh in the absence of an FIR,” said Chief Justice Datta.
The court further asked if a PIL can be maintained when the problem relates to a service matter.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, who appeared for the Maharashtra government, requested that the petition be dismissed at exemplary cost, claiming that the guilty plea was filed with personal vengeance.
“The PIL is not presented in the public interest, but it is fraught with personal grievances and interests. The petitioner has come to this court with dirty hands and minds,” Kumbhakoni said.
Singh in his petition claimed that Deshmukh had asked police officers, including suspended Deputy Police Inspector Sachin Waze, to collect Rs 100 million a month from bars and restaurants.
Waze was arrested earlier this month by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) in the case of a bomb scare near the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai.
Singh’s PIL also raised the issue of alleged corruption in police transfers and posts in the state.
Singh was transferred from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner to the Department of Home Guards on March 17.