'Appear or face execution of warrant': Commission to Param Bir Singh
MUMBAI: A single-member commission, set up by the Maharashtra government to probe corruption allegations against former state home minister Anil Deshmukh, on Thursday directed IPS officer Param Bir Singh to appear before it.
If he did not remain present, Singh would face execution of the bailable warrant issued against him earlier, said the Justice K U Chandiwal commission.
The former Mumbai police commissioner, declared absconding by a court, appeared before the Mumbai police's crime branch on Thursday to record statement in an extortion case registered against him.
The judicial commission asked Singh's lawyer Anukul Seth when Singh would appear before it.
Advocate Seth said he would take instructions, but did not inform that Singh had arrived in Mumbai.
Singh had in March this year levelled allegations of corruption and misuse of official position against Deshmukh after he was shunted from the post of the Mumbai police commissioner in the aftermath of Antilia bomb scare incident.
He accused Deshmukh of asking police officers to collect Rs 100 crore a month from restaurants and bars in Mumbai, a charge which the NCP leader denied.
The inquiry commission looking into these allegations had directed Singh to appear to record his statement, but the IPS officer, who was virtually incommunicado since May, did not turn up.
The panel had also imposed costs on Singh for non-appearance and even proceeded to issue a bailable warrant of Rs 50,000.
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"The bailable warrant is still in force. Ensure the presence of Param Bir Singh before the commission or the police will be directed to execute the warrant," Justice Chandiwal said on Thursday.
"It will be a ridiculous situation if the bailable warrant issued against him is executed," Justice Chandiwal added.
Seth will have to inform the panel on Friday when Singh would appear before it.
Singh, declared an absconder by a court, arrived in the city on Thursday and was questioned by crime branch officials in an extortion case registered against him.
Singh, who flew in here from Chandigarh, arrived at the office of the unit 11 of the Mumbai police's crime branch in Kandivali after 11 am.
He left at around 6.15 in the evening, seven hours later.
The IPS officer, who is still Director General of Home Guard in Maharashtra, arrived and left in an official car.
The crime branch questioned him in connection with an alleged extortion case registered at Goregaon police station in the city, a senior official said.
"He cooperated with the probe and replied to all our questions. We have issued him a notice, stating that he should appear again whenever required," the official told PTI.
Singh's lawyer Rajendra Mokashi said the IPS officer appeared as per the court's order, and was cooperating with the probe.
Builder-hotelier Bimal Agrawal has registered a case at suburban Goregaon police station, accusing Singh and some other police officials of extorting money from him by threatening to frame him in a false case.
Singh is facing a total of five extortion cases in Maharashtra.
As summons issued to him went unanswered, a court here had earlier this month declared the IPS officer a "proclaimed offender".
After disappearing from public view since May this year, Singh had told news channels on Wednesday that he was in Chandigarh.
He has not reported to work since May following his transfer from the post of Mumbai police commissioner and his subsequent allegations of corruption against then Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh.
Singh had been shunted out after police officer Sachin Waze was arrested in the case of an SUV with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house, 'Antilia' and the subsequent suspicious death of businessman Mansukh Hiran The Supreme Court granted Singh protection from arrest a few days ago.