Amid reports that former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh has left the country, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole blamed the Centre on Thursday. Hitting out at the Union government for not probing Singh after the arrest of dismissed cop Sachin Vaze, he said, "We suspect that the Centre has helped him go abroad". Earlier, Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil told the media that the Director-General of the Maharashtra Home Guard had not taken the permission of the CM to go abroad.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV on Friday, Patole remarked, "First, the news that Param Bir Singh is not in India has been leaked by the central investigative agencies. His last location was Ahmedabad airport as per the investigative agencies. The Centre hatched a conspiracy to topple the Maharashtra government in connection with the Vaze case. The Centre has always been misusing IAS and IPS officers by luring them with promotion and posting. We feel that Param Bir Singh is in trouble owing to this conspiracy. We suspect that he left the country on the Centre's instruction so that he doesn't open his mouth."
"He can leave the country only after taking the permission of the state government. This request has to be forwarded to the Centre for approval and only then he can leave the country. The state government can definitely initiate an inquiry if it is ascertained that Param Bir Singh has left the country," he added.
On February 20, Param Bir Singh levelled serious 'extortion' charges against Anil Deshmukh. In a letter addressed to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, Singh refuted Deshmukh's remarks that his transfer was due to serious lapses in the Antilia bomb scare case. Moreover, he alleged that the NCP leader had asked Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze to extort Rs.100 crore per month from 1750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai. However, the then Maharashtra Home Minister rejected these claims and announced that he will file a defamation suit against Singh.
The Maharashtra government constituted a one-man high-level inquiry committee on March 30 to probe the extortion charge. The panel comprising retired Bombay High Court judge Kailash Uttamchand Chandiwal was asked to submit its report in 6 months' time. But, a bailable warrant has been issued against him for repeated non-appearance before the committee.
Already, a lookout notice was issued against Param Bir Singh by the Thane Police after he was wanted in connection with the extortion cases against him. On September 16, the division bench of the Bombay HC comprising Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar rejected his pleas challenging the Maharashtra government's two preliminary enquires against him. While one PE pertained to his alleged failure in connection with the Antilia bomb scare case, the other relates to reinstated police officer Anup Dange's allegations.
Dange had not only accused Singh of shielding people with underworld links but also claimed that the former Mumbai top cop's relative demanded a bribe of Rs.2 crore to reinstate him into the force. The HC held that the plea was not maintainable and gave Singh the liberty to approach the Central Administrative Tribunal. In another setback, the state government permitted the Anti-Corruption Bureau to open a fresh inquiry against him based on police inspector BR Ghadge's complaint. The latter had alleged that Singh took a bribe of Rs.50 lakh-1 crore for the posting of officers.