Ex-Mumbai top cop granted relief from arrest till June 9

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Mumbai, May 24 (IANS) The Maharashtra government on Monday informed the Bombay High Court that it would not arrest former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh till June 9, provided he cooperates with the police in an atrocities case registered against him.

Singh, a 1988-batch IPS officer, is currently serving as the Comandant-General of the state Home Guards after he was transferred from the post of Mumbai Police chief last month.

On April 28, following a complaint filed by police inspector Bhimrao Ghadge, the Akola Police had registered a case under the Sheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989 and the Indian Penal Code against Singh.

Senior Counsel Darius Khambata, appearing for the Maharashtra government, told a vacation bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and N.R. Borkar that Singh would not be arrested till the next date of hearing on June 9.

Khambata argued that Singh cannot ride two horses at the same time by seeking relief from both the Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court in the same case.

Singh’s lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani said that if interim protection is granted in the high court, his client would not press for relief in the apex court.

However, complainant Ghadge’s lawyer, Satish Talekar, opposed the interim relief from arrest granted to Singh.

The court noted that the case dates back to 2016 and the FIR was filed after five years, and since the complainant waited for so long, nothing would happen if he waited for another two weeks.

“He (Singh) was not arrested all these years. What purpose will it serve if he is arrested now,” the court observed.

As per the FIR, Singh, who was the then Police Commissioner of Thane, had asked Ghadge not to chargesheet certain persons, but when he refused, he (Ghadge) was suspended and five FIRs were lodged against him.

Last week, Singh had moved the SC alleging that he is being bounded with multiple cases lodged against him by the Maharashtra government as vendetta after he accused former state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of allegedly demanding a collection of Rs 100 crore from former cop Sachin Vaze.