Param Bir Singh says 'not absconding'; gets protection from arrest
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh on Monday told the Supreme Court that he is in India and not absconding. Singh said he has been hiding as he faces a threat to his life. Meanwhile, the SC granted him protection from arrest and asked him to join the investigation into an extortion case against him.
- Singh's statement is in contrast with media reports that claimed he had left India and was absconding.
- He "does not want to run anywhere but faces a threat to his life," his lawyer told the court.
- Now, the court's guarantee will prevent him from going to jail for the time being.
- The SC had earlier denied granting him protection until his whereabouts were revealed.
"It should not appear to the court that I am afraid. I have full faith in the system. I am ready to appear before a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) court," he told the court. "I am being hounded. There are six cases against me. I am suffering. Please grant me protection." The court then granted Singh protection, directing him to join the probe.
During the last hearing on Thursday, the Supreme Court had questioned Singh's whereabouts. "Where are you? Are you in this country or outside? In some state? Where are you? We will come to the remaining. First, we need to know where you are," a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh had said at that time.
Singh faces four police cases and two preliminary inquiries by the Maharashtra government on extortion charges. He is accused of extorting money from people threatening police harassment. He has been summoned multiple times by the state police and other probe agencies but has failed to appear. The Bombay High Court had earlier dismissed a petition filed by Singh for quashing the two preliminary inquiries.
Earlier this year, Singh had accused former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of corruption during his tenure which led to the latter's resignation. Deshmukh was accused of extorting money from bars, restaurants, and hookah parlors in Mumbai. He had allegedly asked officials to collect Rs. 100 crore every month through illegal means. He has since been arrested and is currently in judicial custody.