New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it will not give any protection to absconding IPS Officer and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh until the court knows about his whereabouts. The apex court also said that it will not take up any hearing on his plea seeking protective orders from the court. "No protection, no hearing until we know where you are," the Supreme Court said today.

The apex court asked his lawyer to inform about Singh's whereabouts and posted the matter for hearing on November 22. A bench headed by Justice S K Kaul took exception that his plea seeking protection has been filed through power of attorney.

"You are seeking protective orders; nobody knows where you are. Suppose you are sitting abroad and taking legal recourse through power of attorney then what happens. If that is so then you will come to India if the court rules in your favour, we don't know what you have in mind. No protection, no hearing until we know where you are," said the bench also comprising Justice M M Sundresh.

It further said, "The petition has been filed through power of attorney. Where are you. Are you in this country or outside? In some state, where are you. We will come to the remaining, first we know where you are?"

A magistrate court in Bombay on Wednesday declared Singh a "proclaimed offender" in an extortion case registered against him and some other police officers in the city. Singh had last attended his office in May this year after which he went on leave. The state police had told the Bombay High Court last month that his whereabouts were not known.

The crime branch of Mumbai Police, which is probing the extortion case, had sought the proclamation against him, saying that the IPS officer could not be traced even after the issuance of a non-bailable warrant. Under Section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a court can publish a proclamation requiring an accused to appear if a warrant issued against him or her cannot be executed.

Former assistant police inspector Sachin Waze is also an accused in the case, registered at the Goregaon police station. Besides Singh, co-accused Vinay Singh and Riyaz Bhatti were also declared proclaimed offenders by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S B Bhajipale on Wednesday.

Bimal Agrawal, a real estate developer and hotelier, had alleged that the accused extorted Rs 9 lakh from him for not conducting raids on two bars and restaurants which he ran in partnership, and also forced him to buy two smartphones worth around Rs 2.92 lakh for them. The incidents occurred between January 2020 and March 2021, he had claimed.

Following his complaint, a case was filed under Indian Penal Code Sections 384 and 385 (both pertaining to extortion) and 34 (common intention) against six accused. Singh is facing an extortion case in Thane too.

The IPS officer was shunted from the post of Mumbai police commissioner in March 2021 after Waze was arrested in the case of the SUV with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's south Mumbai residence 'Antilia' and the subsequent death of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran.

Singh was then appointed as Director General, Home Guards, following which he accused the then Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh of corruption, a charge the latter denied. Deshmukh later stepped down as minister and the CBI registered a case against him based on Singh's allegations.

Singh was last seen in public on April 7, when he appeared before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) here to record statements in the Antilia bomb scare case. The CBI also recorded his statement in the Deshmukh case. He last attended office on May 4, following which he went on leave citing health issues, a senior official said.

Singh then sought an extension of leave claiming he had undergone surgery. In August he requested one more extension. On October 20, the police told the Bombay High Court that he was "not traceable", and therefore they can not continue an earlier assurance not to arrest him in a case under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The HC was hearing a petition filed by Singh seeking to quash the FIR in the case, registered on the complaint of harassment filed by police inspector Bhimrao Ghadge.


(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan