Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh who faces at least four cases of extortion in Maharashtra and had been missing since October, leading to rumours he had fled the country – appeared at the city police’s Crime Branch Unit 11 office on Thursday morning.
On November 22, the Supreme Court granted Param Bir Singh protection from arrest in the alleged extortion case. While issuing an order on the same, the court also directed the former Mumbai top cop to join the investigation.
Param Bir Singh’s legal counsel, arguing for protection from arrest for him on Monday, said on his behalf, “I don’t want to send out the impression that I have done anything wrong. I have full faith in the judiciary. Please grant me protection. I was the senior-most police officer, I won’t run away.”
Param Bir Singh’s lawyer also informed the court that his client was “very much” in India. “He doesn’t want to abscond. He doesn’t want to run away. The issue, however, is that there is a very genuine threat to his life as soon as he enters Maharashtra,” the lawyer said.
Soon after the Supreme Court’s order, Param Bir Singh said that he is in Chandigarh and would join the investigation in cases against him in Mumbai soon. He has now arrived in Mumbai to join the probe as per the Supreme Court’s order.
Param Bir Singh was earlier declared a “proclaimed offender” by a magistrate court in Mumbai. This came after the Mumbai Police Crime Branch, which is investigating the Goregaon extortion case against Param Bir Singh, had moved an application before the court of Magistrate Sudhir Bhajipale, seeking that the former police chief is declared a proclaimed offender.
Special Public Prosecutor Shekhar Jagtap sought that along with Param Bir Singh, two other accused, Riyaz Bhati and Vinay Singh alias Bablu, should also be declared proclaimed offenders.
Multiple cases of extortion have been filed against Param Bir Singh. In March this year, he was removed as Mumbai Police commissioner and shifted to the Home Guard department amid the Ambani bomb scare case. However, he went on leave in May and was untraceable for several months after.
After he was shunted out as Mumbai Police chief, Param Bir Singh, in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, had levelled corruption allegations against then state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.