In a huge setback to Mumbai's former Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh, the Crime Investigation Department on Monday registered the statement of Gunjan Singh. Wife of Anil Singh-a Mumbai-based bar owner, Gunjan had written a complaint letter to Maharashtra's Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil among others, alleging that her husband, who was closely associated with cops Pradeep Sharma and Bacchi Singh, served as a 'collection agent' for them. Both Pradeep Sharma and Bacchi Singh worked under the then Mumbai's CP of Police Param Bir Singh.
In her statement regarding the same, Gunjan claimed before the investigating agency that she had often seen her husband fill crore-worth cash that he used to collect from the illegal activities in black garbage bags, and transport it to Pradeep Sharma and Bacchi Singh.
It is pertinent to note here that the complainant Gunjan Singh has been subjected to Domestic violence by her husband Anil Singh in the first few years of her marriage, and for the same, she had on multiple occasions tried to lodge an FIR. The FIRs were, however, not lodged because of her husband's connection with the cops. Elaborating on the same in the letter, she had said, "I was required to approach the National Women Cell Commission complaining about the atrocities by the police and cognizance was been taken by the Women Cell directing the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai City to look into the case and also by State Women Cell directing the Senior Inspector of Police, MIDC Police Station."
Pointing out that she was initially scared to write the present complaint, she added, "When I collected information about the volume of manipulation and illegalities by these persons, I gathered the courage to make the present complaint."
Earlier in the day, while hearing a petition filed by the former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, the Bombay High Court pulled up Param Bir Singh. Taking cognizance that Sachin Vaze was the main collector, the bench comprising Justice Shinde, questioned as to who was instructing the ex-Mumbai cop, hinting towards Param Bir Singh. Having said that, he added, "A single individual cannot be blamed in this matter." The court has therefore sought the names of other conspirators in the case and has directed for further investigation. "There is a need for a full-fledged investigation," said Justice Shinde.
The scandal surfaced on February 20 after Param Bir Singh levelled serious extortion charges against the then Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. In an 8-page letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh claimed that Sachin Vaze had been summoned by Anil Deshmukh to his residence several times in the past few months. He further claimed that Deshmukh had set a target of 'Rs 100 crores a month' that was to be accumulated from 1,750 bars, restaurants, and other establishments in Mumbai - collecting Rs 2-3 lakhs from each. The charges set off a massive row involving the Maharashtra government. After the apex court directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry, Deshmukh stepped down as the Home Minister on moral grounds and was replaced by Dilip Walse Patil.