Param Bir Singh not whistleblower, says Maharashtra government affidavit in apex court

Param Bir Singh not whistleblower, says Maharashtra government affidavit in apex court
© Provided by The Times of India

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has filed a counter-affidavit before the Supreme Court seeking dismissal of the special leave petition (SLP) submitted by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh. The state said it had “no knowledge of any conversation having taken place” between him and incumbent director general of police Sanjay Pandey, and only learnt of the alleged exchange when Singh filed the petition.

Singh is no whistleblower, contrary to his claim in the SLP, the state said, adding that it has approved initiation of disciplinary proceedings against him under the All-India Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules of 1969, and issued him the charges of alleged misconduct or misbehaviour and lists of documents and witnesses.

READ ALSO: ED records former top cop’s statement in laundering case against Deshmukh

The SC bench of Justices S K Kaul and MM Sundresh will hear the SLP on Monday.

The state said the Bombay high court order of September 16, which Singh seeks to challenge before the SC, is correct. It added that HC’s dismissal of Singh’s petition against two preliminary enquiries against him in April-—to be conducted by Pandey—were on grounds of maintainability. The state said validity or allegations of ‘malafides’ of its orders to conduct preliminary enquiries falls within ambit of ‘service matters’ which can be challenged before the Central Administrative Tribunal, as held by the HC.

Singh, in a letter to the CBI on April 19, had alleged that Pandey had offered to mediate and had advised him to withdraw his March 20 letter to the chief minister against then home minister Anil Deshmukh. The affidavit by V M Bhat, joint secretary of state home department, said such conversations, if any, are of “a purely personal nature” and “not at the instance” of the state. In any case, the state said, CBI is investigating the conversations as is evident from the summons it had issued on September 18 to the DGP, hence rendering the SLP infructuous.

The state’s affidavit, settled by its advocate Rahul Chitnis, made it clear that this contention is “without prejudice” to its petition pending before the HC where it has sought transfer of the probe into CBI’s April 21 FIR against Deshmukh and unknown others to a court-monitored special investigation team on the grounds that the CBI probe “is biased given the director (of CBI) Subodh Jaiswal is a witness and a possible accused.

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