The Supreme Court today refused former Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh protection from arrest in an extortion case against him. The court demanded that he disclose his location. “Where is Mr Parambir Singh?” the court asked.
Mr Singh faces at least four cases of extortion and is believed to have fled the country.
The SC questioned the former Mumbai police chief’s lawyer on the petitioner’s whereabouts. “Where are you? Are you in this country or outside? In some state? Where are you? We will come to the remaining. First, we need to know where you are,” the court said.
Justice Kaul hit out at Mr Singh’s lawyer when he argued that he can “get out of the hole” if he is “allowed to breathe”.
“Look at the lack of confidence in the system. He was the police commissioner, but we are not going to treat him any differently. He is seeking protection. Are you saying that he will come to India only if the courts protect him?” the court said.
A bench headed by Justice 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 until we know where you are,” said the bench.
The SC will now hear the matter on November 22.
A Mumbai court yesterday had said that Mr Singh can be declared an “absconder” in connection with an extortion case. The Mumbai Police can now designate him a wanted accused and start the process of declaring him a fugitive.
Mr 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.