In a setback for controversial former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, a Mumbai court on Wednesday declared him a "proclaimed offender" in an extortion case registered against him and others.
The court ordered that the next step would be seizing his assets if the cop refuses to turn up does in 30 days.
The court accepted the Proclamation application filed by the state's Crime Investigation Department (CID) which sought to declare Singh as an "absconder". The CID move came as Singh remained untraceable despite the issuance of non-bailable warrants, and this move will help the probe agency in finding him.
The case is based on the complaint of a man who claimed the accused, between January last year and March 2021 extorted Rs 9 lakh for not conducting a raid on two bars and restaurants that he operates in partnership with and had also forced him to buy two smartphones worth around Rs 2.92 lakh for them.
The six accused have been charged under Indian Penal Code sections 384 and 385 (both pertaining to extortion) and 34 (common intention).
The state government has also initiated the process to suspend Singh and another police officer after they were named as accused in extortion cases, an official said on Saturday.
The process began after a proposal was sent by the Director-General of Police (DGP) to the state home department a few days ago, he said.
Under section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a court can publish a proclamation requiring an accused to appear if a warrant issued against him or her cannot be executed. As per section 83, after issuing such a proclamation the court can also order attachment of the proclaimed offender's properties.
Former assistant police inspector Sachin Waze is also an accused in the case, registered at Goregaon police station in the city.
Besides Param Bir Singh, co-accused Vinay Singh and Riyaz Bhatti were also declared as proclaimed offender by additional chief metropolitan magistrate S B Bhajipale.
Bimal Agrawal, a real estate developer and hotelier, had alleged that the accused extorted Rs 9 lakh from him for not conducting raid on two bars and restaurants which he ran in partnership, and also forced him to buy two smartphones worth around Rs 2.92 lakh for them.
The incidents occurred between January 2020 and March 2021, he had claimed.
Following his complaint, a case was filed under Indian Penal Code sections 384 and 385 (both pertaining to extortion) and 34 (common intention) against six accused.
Singh is facing an extortion case in Thane too.
He was shunted out from the post of Mumbai police commissioner in March 2021 after Waze was arrested in the case of the SUV with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's south Mumbai residence and the death of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran.
Singh, subsequently, accused then Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh of corruption, a charge the latter denied.