The Supreme Court Thursday transferred the corruption and misconduct cases against former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh from the Mumbai Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation. All five FIRs against the former top cop will now be investigated by the CBI.
“We are of the prima facie view that there is some concerted effort which needs the investigation by CBI. What is the truth, who is at fault how does such scenario come to prevail is something which investigation must get into. CBI must hold an impartial inquiry into all these aspects,” it said.
A very murky affair is going on amid echelons of power on who should investigate the matter, a bench of Justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh said. The court said the “disturbing scenario” presented before it deserves inquiry.
“This is not a reflection on the police of Maharashtra, which is respected, but a troubling scenario among the higher echelons,” it said.
Param Bir Singh had filed a plea in the top court seeking handing over of all investigations against him to the premier central investigating agency from the Maharashtra police.
“Please do not leave me at the mercy of the state,” Mr Singh had appealed to the court, adding that he has have never come across any case where the Home Minister and the chief of the party in power make a statement to the media that ‘I will fix this officer’.
“We do not want the investigation to be influenced by the observation of this court. The High Court has treated this as a service dispute which it is not and thus we set aside the HC verdict. We allow the appeal and direct the probe into 5 FIRs be transferred to CBI with all records.
The top court said the state should have offered for an investigation to be carried out.
“Such transfer to be completed within one week and all officials to extend full cooperation to CBI to try arrive at the truth,” the bench said.
The Maharashtra government had argued against the case being handed over to the CBI because it said it will affect the morale of the police.
“No facts placed before the court could prove that the police did not investigate properly. So far only baseless allegations have been made,” said the counsel for Maharashtra government.
Param Bir Singh was suspended from service in December 2020 and the government initiated disciplinary proceedings against him over “certain irregularities and lapses”.