The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a writ petition filed by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, challenging the departmental inquiries initiated against him by the Maharashtra Government.
A Bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian granted liberty to the petitioner to withdraw the petition and raise his contentions before the Bombay High Court.
Although Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani made elaborate arguments for Param Bir Singh, the bench was not inclined to entertain the matter.
"You are the part of a Maharashtra cadre. You served the State for 30 years. And now you don't trust the functioning of your own State ? This is a shocking allegation!", Justice Hemant Gupta observed.
"You have experience of criminal law. Can there really be a blanket stay on FIRs lodged against you ? We are not dealing with all FIRs. There are different Magistrates to deal with it", the judge asked Mr.Jethmalani.
"You have been a part of the force for 30+ years, you cannot have doubt against your own", Justice Gupta told Mr.Jethmalani.
"There is a saying, people in glass houses should not throw stones", Justice Gupta added.
Mr.Jethmalani protested this 'glass houses' remark and said that it indicated a prejudicial mindset on the part of the bench.
"You are assuming that I am in a glass house. This is a prejudicial statement", Mr.Jethmalani said.
The senior counsel argued that the State Government was harassing him over his letter which incriminated former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
"I am now being intimidated by the inquiry officer to take back my letter", Mr. Jethmalani said.
However, the bench was not persuaded by these submissions.
"If the person of the rank of DGP can be pressurised, then anybody of any rank can be pressurised. Don't make up stories", Justice Gupta said.
When the bench was about to pass an order of dismissal, Senior Advocate Puneet Bali, also appearing for Param Bir Singh, requested that liberty may be given to withdraw the matter.
The bench said that it had given the option of the withdrawal at the very beginning but Mr.Jethmalani wanted to argue in detail.
Ultimately, the bench allowed the matter to be withdrawn.
At the previous hearing, Justice BR Gavai had recused from the hearing and directions had been given for the plea to be listed before Bench of which Justice Gavai was not a member.
In his petition, Singh alleged that the inquiry officer of the state government is threatening him with false cases unless the complaint made by him against former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh - which is being investigated by the CBI as per orders of the Bombay High Court- is withdrawn. The former Mumbai top cop says that he has submitted before the CBI the transcripts showing alleged phone call conversations from the inquiry officer threatening him.
In the writ petition filed before the Supreme Court, Singh has prayed for a direction to the CBI to act on his representation made against the alleged threats made by the Maharashtra Government's inquiry officer.
Expressing no-confidence with the probe under the Maharashtra Government, Singh has sought for transfer of all departmental enquiries already initiated to another State. Further, he seeks transfer of inquiries already initiated or contemplated for any punitive prosecution to an independent agency like the CBI.
Singh, who was shifted from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner to the Home Guards department on March 17 this year, had written a letter to the government alleging corruption and misuse of official position by Anil Deshmukh.
The letter from March 20 alleged that Deshmukh met with subordinate police officers, including suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze, in February and asked for collection of Rs 100 crore per month.
After hearing a clutch of PILs, including one by Singh, the Bombay High Court had, on April 5 issued directions for the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the allegations levelled by in Singh's letter. Deshmukh resigned as State's Home Minister pursuant to these directions.
On April 1, the Maharashtra Government directed DGP Sanjay Pandey to initiate preliminary inquiry against Singh for alleged violation of All India Service (Conduct) Rules. The Maharashtra police has also registered an FIR against him alleging corruption.