Param Bir Singh’s plea against Anil Deshmukh: Key observations of Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday (March 24) termed as “quite serious” the matter in which former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh filed a plea against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. The apex court asked the IPS officer to approach the Bombay High Court with his grievances.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R Subhash Reddy granted liberty to Singh, who withdrew from the top court his plea seeking direction for an “impartial and fair” CBI probe into alleged corrupt practices of Deshmukh, to approach the high court. The key observations of the apex court were: 

– The SC bench said both Singh and Deshmukh have levelled allegations and it appeared that a lot of material that has come in the public domain is a consequence of “personas falling out” after parties in the matter being “hunky-dory” for a long time.

– “We have no doubt that the matter is quite serious and affects the administration at large. It also appears that a lot of material which has come in the public domain is a consequence of the personas falling out.”

– When senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Singh, said they would file a petition before the high court during the day and would like the matter to be taken up tomorrow itself, the top court said, “That, in our view, would be an appropriate prayer made to the high court and not by a direction from this court.”

– During the arguments conducted through video-conferencing, Rohatgi referred to the SC’s verdict in the Prakash Singh case which dealt with police reforms, the bench said, “In our view, this is only a mantra recited periodically, wherever the occasion so suits, and there has been no seriousness by all concerned to ever implement the directions enshrined in the judgment.”

– “It appears that none want to give up, inter alia, the control of police transfers or implement measures that would insulate the police machinery from performing its role without any uncalled-for interference,” the top court said.

– The bench also observed that the parties in the matter were “hunky-dory” for a long time and now they have fallen apart after which the issue has come up, adding “Now, he is making some allegation, the minister is also making some allegation.”

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A 1988 batch IPS officer, Param Bir Singh has also sought quashing of the order transferring him from the post of Mumbai’s Commissioner of Police alleging it was “arbitrary” and “illegal”. As an interim relief, he has sought a stay of the operation of his transfer order and direction to state government, the Centre and CBI to immediately take in its custody the CCTV footage from the residence of Deshmukh.

(With Agency Inputs) 

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