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Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh Moves Bombay HC Against Justice Chandiwal Inquiry Committee

Srishti Ojha
4 Aug 2021 11:16 AM GMT
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh Moves Bombay HC Against Justice Chandiwal Inquiry Committee
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Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh has moved the Bombay High Court against the orders issued by the one member High Level Inquiry Committee headed by Justice KU Chandiwal, constituted by the State of Maharashtra. The Maharashtra Government had on March 30th appointed former Bombay High Court Judge, KU Chandiwal to conduct a high-level judicial inquiry into...

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh has moved the Bombay High Court against the orders issued by the one member High Level Inquiry Committee headed by Justice KU Chandiwal, constituted by the State of Maharashtra.

The Maharashtra Government had on March 30th appointed former Bombay High Court Judge, KU Chandiwal to conduct a high-level judicial inquiry into corruption allegations against State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and submit a report within six months.

The plea has sought declaration that the scope entrusted upon Inquiry Committee by the Government stands adjudicated upon and nothing survives to be inquired into by the Committee.

While challenging the orders dated 30th July, 2021 passed by the one member Inquiry Committee, the plea has also sought stay of any further proceedings before the Committee till the final disposal of the present petition.

According to the plea, through its order dated 30th July, the Committee rejected contentions made by Param Bir Singh and directed the inquiry to continue, and also fixed the date of business as August 6th, 2021 whereby persons summoned have been directed to lead evidence and face cross examination.

The petitioner has stated that the scope of the inquiry committee was to inquire into whether petitioner's letter dated 20th March, 2021 revealed if any offence was committed by Mr Deshmukh, and if any allegation is required to be investigated into by the Department of Anti-Corruption Bureau.

Saying that the scope entrusted on the Committee has already been adjudicated upon by both the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court which found allegations in letter to be required to be investigated by an investigation Agency, the petitioner has argued that nothing survives for the Committee to inquire into at the moment. The petitioner has argued that the Inquiry Committee is neither a judicial authority nor a quasi judicial authority. No fact finding authority can go beyond the findings and conclusions arrived at by a judicial forum, much less the highest Judicial forum of Maharashtra and the Country.

The petitioner has also cited the High Court's order dated 22nd July, 2021 in the present case where it reiterated that a cognizable offence has been made out, and has pointed out that both High Court and Supreme Court have held that it is necessary for CBI to investigate the matter.

Param Bir Singh was shunted out of the CPs office and transferred to the Maharashtra Police's Home Guards Department on March 18. Singh wrote an explosive letter to Maharashtra's Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on March 20, making serious allegations of corruption against Deshmukh.

The State Government notification issued while appointing the Inquiry Committee mentioned the following reference points:

1. Does Singh's letter dated March 20, prove any wrong-doing or criminal act on part of the home minister or anyone from his office?

2. Based on the letter written by Param Bir Singh after his transfer and based on the alleged information provided by ACP Sanjay Patil and API Sachin Waze, is there a bribery related crime warranting investigation by the Anti-Corruption Bureau or any other agency made out against Deshmukh or any other official of his office?


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