Non-bailable warrant cancelled against former top cop as he appears before court
Former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh on Friday presented himself before the Thane police, which is investigating an extortion case in which he was named following a complaint lodged by a local businessman. Singh was interrogated in two shifts in the middle of which he visited the Thane court where a non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against him was cancelled.
On July 30, the Thane Nagar police station had registered a case of extortion and criminal intimidation on the complaint of a businessman identified as Ketan Tanna who had alleged that Singh, who has previously served as Thane Police commissioner, along with his team of police officers, had threatened and extorted money from him.
Tanna, in his statement to police, alleged that Singh and other police officials, identified as deputy commissioner of police Deepak Devraj, assistant police commissioner NT Kadam, former cop Pradeep Sharma and police inspector Rajkumar Kothmire, along with gangster Ravi Pujari and many others threatened to implicate him in a false case and extorted money from him.
“They took Rs 1.25 crore from me and my family members. I have given proof of every rupee that I was made to pay,” said Tanna.
So far, Thane police have arrested two persons namely Tariq Parveen and Sanjay Punamiya in connection with the case.
An NBW was issued against Singh recently after the Thane police approached a court when the former top cop did not respond to its summons.
On Thursday, days after he was given protection from arrest by the Supreme Court, Singh appeared before the crime branch in Mumbai.
His statement was recorded for over six hours.
Around 10.30 am on Friday, Singh went to Thane and presented himself before the police without giving any prior intimation.
A senior IPS officer said that a police-inspector rank officer, who is an investigating officer of the case, conducted the interrogation in the presence of a zonal deputy commissioner of police.
In between, around 3pm, Singh left for Thane court where he presented himself before the magistrate who had issued the NBW against him. The warrant was cancelled by the court.
Singh’s lawyer RB Mokashi said, “In our application for cancellation of NBW, we had said that Singh was not keeping well all this while due to which we could not remain present before the investigating officer. But henceforth, we will be there whenever called.”
Authorities said the warrant was cancelled under the conditions that Singh would appear before the investigating officer whenever instructed. He was also ordered to pay a bond of Rs 15,000 to the court.
Following the court visit, Singh returned to Thane Nagar police station where he was questioned for another three hours and allowed to go by 7pm.
The officer, under the condition of anonymity, said that they questioned Singh in connection with a complaint filed by the Thane businessman.
“Singh was also asked about the case in which he has been booked. We looked for minute details about his presence during the time of offence,” added another officer.
Tanna, though, said he is not satisfied with the police investigations. He said, “There are 28 named accused in the case, they (police) are not taking action against any one. Only two persons have been arrested so far. Indirectly, people have approached me asking to withdraw the case. But just because I have faith in judiciary, I have held on to it.”
So far, in Maharashtra, five cases of extortion have been registered against Singh following which the Anti-Corruption Bureau has started two open inquiries against him.
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