Corruption complaint filed against former Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh, two others

NEW DELHI: People living in glass houses should “not throw stones” at others, the Supreme Court said on Friday and termed it “shocking” that former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who has served the state cadre for over 30 years, is now stating that he has no trust in the state police.

The apex court, which was hearing Singh’s plea seeking transfer of all inquiries against him to an independent agency outside Maharashtra, said the petitioner should not have doubt on the police force in which he has served.

“It is commonly said, the person who lives in glass house should not throw stones at others,” said a vacation bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian.

“Your lordships are assuming that I (Singh) am living in a glass house,” said senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for Singh, and added that false cases have been lodged against the police officer.

After the apex court observed that it would dismiss the petition, Singh’s counsel withdrew the plea and said he would avail other appropriate remedy.

The bench allowed Singh to withdraw the plea.

Singh, a 1988-batch IPS officer, was removed from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner on March 17 and was made the General Commander of Maharashtra State Home Guard after he levelled allegations of corruption and misconduct against the then Home Minister and senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh.

Deshmukh has denied any wrongdoing saying there was not an iota of substantive evidence to even prima facie establish that any of the allegations made by Singh had an element of truth.

During the arguments, Jethmalani said Singh has no doubt on the police but he can’t keep on facing one case after the other just because he is a “whistleblower” in the matter.

He said Singh is seeking directions for transferring all inquiries which are already ordered against him outside the state and also that the investigation be transferred to an independent agency like the CBI.

“This is surprising us. You have been a part of Maharashtra state cadre and served it for over 30 years. Now you are saying that you have no trust in your own state police. This is shocking,” the bench observed.

When Jethmalani said no new FIR should be lodged against Singh “without the leave” of the apex court, the bench said, “We are not dealing with FIRs.

There are magistrates to deal with them”.

During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing, Jethmalani said that the Bombay High Court had ordered a CBI probe into allegations of Singh against Deshmukh.

He claimed that Singh has been pressurised by the inquiry officer to withdraw his letter, which he had written to the chief minister of the state and had levelled allegations against the former minister.

“These are two different things. The inquiry against the former minister is different and the inquiry against you (Singh) is different. You have served in the police force for over 30 years. You should not have doubt on the police force. You cannot say now that you want inquiries to be done outside the state,” the bench said.

Jethmalani said Singh would have confidence in the police force if the officers are independent and are not “caged parrot”.

When he said that Singh is being pressurised by the inquiry officer to withdraw his letter, the bench observed, “If a person of the rank of DGP can be pressurised, then there will be nobody who can’t be pressurised.

Don’t tell make-believe story”.

Arguing that the petitioner is not telling make-believe story, the senior advocate argued that the complainant against Singh is also facing cases.

“Credibility of the complainant can be examined during the investigation,” the bench said, adding, “Conduct of a complainant can’t be a ground to quash a private complaint”.

At the outset, the bench asked Jethmalani, “You (Singh) have filed three petitions before the Bombay High Court.

The reliefs claimed are identical and if not identical, they are overlapping.

Why should the court allow this?” The senior counsel said that there is an attempt to subvert the high court order for a CBI inquiry.

When he referred to Singh’s letter to the chief minister in which the senior police officer had levelled allegations against Deshmukh, the bench asked whether any step was taken by Singh in that regard.

The senior counsel argued that Singh had taken steps but an inquiry was initiated against him in April.

The Bombay High Court had earlier ordered a CBI probe into allegations of Singh against Deshmukh who had to resign as the minister.

In his plea filed in the apex court, the senior police officer has alleged that he has been made to face several inquiries by the state government and its instrumentalities and sought their transfer outside Maharashtra and a probe into them by an independent agency like the CBI.

Singh has been facing inquiries, including the one under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in a case of 2015 and he has termed this as a witch-hunt by the state agency.

Singh, in his earlier plea filed before the top court, had sought a CBI probe against Deshmukh who, he claimed, had asked police officers, including Sachin Waze, to extort Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants.

The top court had then asked him to go before the Bombay High Court which later ordered CBI probe into Singh’s allegations.

The state government and the NCP leader subsequently filed an appeal in the apex court but failed to get any relief against the high court order.