Days after he was shunted out as the police commissioner, Param Bir wrote a sensational letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, accusing state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of running an 'extortion' racket in Mumbai.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh
Param Bir vs Anil Deshmukh: The Bombay High Court will today hear the criminal PIL filed by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh seeking a CBI probe against his former boss Anil Deshmukh. Days after he was shunted out as the police commissioner, Param Bir wrote a sensational letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, accusing state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of running an ‘extortion’ racket in Mumbai. In the letter to the CM, Param Bir claims that Deshmukh had asked police officers, including suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze, to collect Rs 100 crore per month from about 1750 bars and restaurants operating in Mumbai.
Param Bir filed the PIL on March 25. Appearing for the former top cop, senior counsel Vikram Nankani on Tuesday mentioned the petition before a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni and sought urgent hearing on the matter. The Chief Justice asked Nankani about the prayers sought in the petition and if the PIL was maintainable. Nankani said the main prayer was for a CBI probe into the serious allegations levelled by Param Bir against Anil Deshmuk. On maintainability, Nankani said that he will satisfy the court with arguments.
Param Bir Singh had initially moved the Supreme Court, alleging he was removed as commissioner after he complained to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray about the ‘corrupt malpractices’ of Anil Deshmukh. The top court had termed the matter as quite serious, but asked him to approach the High Court. Param Bir then filed the PIL in the High Court, reiterating his allegations against Anil Deshmukh and seeking an ‘immediate, unbiased, impartial’ probe by the CBI.
In the HC, Param Bir has sought a direction from the court to the CBI to secure CCTV footage of Anil Deshmukh’s residence from earlier this year before it was “destroyed”. In his letter to the chief minister, Param Bir said that Sachin Vaze was called by Deshmukh to his official residence Dyaneshwar several times in the last few months and repeatedly instructed to assist in collection of funds for the state Home Minister. Deshmukh, however, rubbished his charge saying he did not meet anyone between the said period as he had contracted coronavirus and was admitted in hospital in Nagpur.
Param Bir has also sought a direction from the court to the state government to produce all records of communication received from IPS officer Rashmi Shukla in March 2020. In February last year, Rashmi Shukla had levelled serious allegations of malpractices in police postings and transfers against Anil Deshmukh and also informed her superiors about it, but soon afterwards she was transferred, Param Bir said in his PIL.