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SC hints at CBI probe against Param Bir Singh, not by Mumbai Police

IANS | December 06, 2021 05:29 PM

NEW DELHI:The Supreme Court on Monday restrained the Maharashtra Police from filing charge sheet in all the FIRs registered against former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, but allowed the investigation to proceed. The top court observed that prima facie it is of the view that the probe against Singh should be done by another agency and not by the state police.

A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and comprising Justice M.M. Sundresh sought CBI's view in connection with taking up the investigation in the FIRs registered by the Maharashtra Police against Singh over allegations of misconduct and corruption.

Senior advocate Puneet Bali, representing Singh, contended that the Maharashtra government and the DGP have filed responses, but the CBI is yet to file a response. The bench queried Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that could the CBI take up this matter as it is already looking into the other aspects?

Mehta orally submitted 'there is no issue at all'. In a written response, the Maharashtra government has told the top court that there is no need for a CBI probe into the cases as these are service matters and Singh is also not a whistleblower.

Senior advocate Darius Kambatta, representing the Maharashtra government, submitted that Singh's petition is not maintainable as it was a service dispute against departmental enquiries, which should be contested before the Central Administrative Tribunal.

Justice Kaul observed "Prima facie we find this difficult to accept...but since the matter has been assigned already to the CBI, why can't this be also entrusted with them?"

The bench further orally observed that it is only concerned with the likelihood of bias. Bali submitted to the bench that the Maharashtra government was acting with "mala fides" against his client.

The top court directed the state police to continue its probe, but restrained it from filing a charge sheet in the matter.

The bench said: "Since the petitioner has joined the investigation, let the probe continue but no challan be issued."

It also directed the CBI to file its affidavit within a week and scheduled the matter for further hearing on January 11. The top court had earlier granted protection from arrest to Singh which will continue.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Singh against the September 16 judgement of the Bombay High Court, which dismissed his writ petition challenging the two inquiries ordered by the state home ministry for allegedly violating service rules and corruption charges as non-maintainable.

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