SC transfers Ex Mumbai Police Commissioner, Param Bir Singh case to CBI
The Supreme Court has refused to revoke the suspension order of Param Bir Singh but directed the Mumbai police to transfer the case to CBI within one week.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has transferred the investigation of a case regarding alleged corruption deeds of former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The division bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.M. Sundresh observed that, "The exigencies in the advancement of principles of natural justice require the probe to be transferred to CBI. We are not saying appellant is a whistle-blower or anyone involved in this case is washed with milk."
The bench has set aside the order of the Mumbai High Court dated September 16, 2021, which had dismissed Param Bir Singh’s petition challenging two preliminary enquiries initiated against him by the Maharashtra government.
"We do not want the investigation to be influenced by the observation of this Court. High Court has treated this as a service dispute, which it is not, and thus we set aside the High Court verdict. We allow the appeal and direct the probe into 5 FIRs be transferred to CBI with all records."
However, the court has refused to revoke the suspension order of Param Bir Singh but directed the Mumbai police to transfer the case to CBI within one week.
"So far as departmental proceedings are concerned, it will be appropriate to await the probe by CBI. We don't know whether this is the end of the road or more FIRs will be registered. If more FIRs are registered, then those too will be transferred to CBI," the Court observed.
Senior Advocate Darius Khambata, appearing for the Maharashtra government said that the state government was not in a position to accept the transfer to CBI since it would demoralise the police force, he argued.
"My police officers were called and asked to collect 100 crores from bars etc for (former State) Home Minister. This disturbs us and Mr Sharad Pawar concedes this. When this catches fire, I am transferred and Home Minister says there was a dereliction of duty on my part," Bali submitted.
Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj, representing the CBI, also said that the agency should probe the case.
"The issue needs to be probed by CBI for a thorough and impartial probe. If any other agency also probes this along with CBI then it may create hurdle and overlapping of subject matter. There cannot be parallel investigation," he said.