The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Maharashtra government to put on hold the ongoing investigation against former Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh over the allegations of misconduct and corruption.
A bench of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh expressing concern over the "messy state of affairs" highlighted by the ongoing legal battle between Singh with the state administration, said that "it is a very, very unfortunate situation". The top court said, "It has the propensity of unnecessarily shaking confidence of people in the police system. Process of law must be carried in a manner."
The apex court said that it will take a call on whether the FIRs lodged by Maharashtra police against Singh be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or not and asked the state government to keep its hands off from those cases till it decides the issue.
It recorded in its order that the state government has given its assurance to put the matter on hold while the top court is considering the matter.
It asked the parties to file written synopsis and posted the matter for hearing on March 9.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, told the bench that it is in the interest of things that all cases herein be investigated by the central probe agency.
Earlier, the bench had allowed Mumbai Police to carry on the investigation against Singh but restrained it from filing charge sheets on the FIRs against him over the allegations of misconduct and corruption.
It had also been observed that it was a "disturbing scenario" that Singh does not have trust in the police force which he headed once and the Maharashtra government has no faith in the CBI.
The apex court was hearing a petition filed by Singh seeking protection from coercive steps by Mumbai police in the cases registered against him.
On the last date of hearing senior advocate Puneet Bali, appearing for Singh, had told the bench that the former Mumbai Police Commissioner is being targeted and the State government is trying to scuttle the probe.
Cases were registered against Singh over allegations of misconduct, corruption and extortion and apex court had sought CBI's view on probing the cases as they are interlinked with the matters already under the investigation of the central agency.
The apex court had also granted interim protection to Singh from arrest.
Singh had approached the top court against the September 16, 2021 judgment of the Bombay High Court which dismissed as not maintainable his pleas challenging the two enquiries orders issued by the State Home Ministry for allegedly violative service rules and the second over allegations of corruption.
The apex court had also expressed concern over the ongoing fight between Deshmukh and Singh saying the matter has become "curiouser and curiouser".
Singh's counsel had told the apex court that six cases of corruption and extortion were filed against Singh after he wrote letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray levelling corruption and misconduct against the then Home Minister and senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh.
Singh, a 1988-batch IPS officer, was removed from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner on March 17 and was made the General Commander of Maharashtra State Home Guard after he levelled allegations against Deshmukh.
On November 18, the bench had asked Singh to disclose his whereabouts while making it clear that no protection can be granted to him against arrest until his location is known.
Singh was declared an absconder by a Mumbai Magistrate after his non-appearance in an extortion case.