SC Judge Gavai Recuses From Hearing Former Mumbai Top Cop’s Plea

New Delhi:  A new bench of the Supreme Court will hear a fresh plea filed by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh seeking transfer of all inquiries ordered against him outside Maharashtra.

On Tuesday, as Singh’s plea was taken up by a bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and B.R Gavai, Justice Saran told senior advocate Puneet Bali, representing Singh, “Brother (Justice Gavai) has some difficulty in taking up this matter. We will just say place it before another bench.”

Justice Gavai added: “I can’t hear this matter.”

The bench, without going into the merits of the case, said: “List before another bench in which one of us is not a party.” Justice Gavai did not cite any reason for not hearing the matter.

In his brief arguments, Bali had contended that inquiries against his client is a witch-hunt and also in complete transgression of the orders passed by the top court as well as the Bombay High Court.

Singh had accused then Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of adopting corrupt practices in posting or transfers in police in addition with extortion of Rs 100 crore per month from various establishments.

In a writ petition, Singh alleged that the inquiry officer of the state government is threatening him with false cases unless he withdraws the complaint against Deshmukh. Singh has asked the top court to transfer all investigations already initiated or contemplated against him to the CBI which is presently probing the charges against Deshmukh. He claims to have submitted to the CBI transcripts linked with alleged phone call conversations from the inquiry officer threatening him.

“Issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ order or direction directing the Respondent no 1, its officers and agencies to: (i) transfer all the enquiries already ordered for considering departmental actions to any other state (ii) transfer all the investigations already contemplated or initiated against the petitioner for any punitive prosecution to independent agency like the respondent no 2 Central Bureau of Investigation, which is already probing the connected case or any other investigation agency outside the state of Maharashtra,” said Singh’s plea.

“Restrain from initiating or taking steps for commencing any further inquiries/investigations against the petitioner or taking any coercive steps against him in any of the pending investigations, without first taking leave of this court,” it urged.

On April 21, the CBI had lodged an FIR in the matter after the top court declined to interfere the Bombay High Court’s order for preliminary investigation against Deshmukh.

Within days of his transfer to Home Guards department on March 17, Singh had accused Deskhmukh of setting a collection target of Rs 100 crore for Sachin Vaze of Crime Intelligence Unit, Mumbai, arrested in the Antilia bomb scare case.