Former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh was slated to appear before the Justice (retd) K.U. Chandiwal Commission of enquiry after five days but a speculation has been perturbing Maharashtra political circles that he may have fled the country.
Maharashtra home minister Dilip Walse-Patil has said that neither the state nor the central government’s investigating agencies have any clue of Singh’s whereabouts and are searching for him.
“A lookout circular (LOC) has been issued against him along with the Ministry of Home Affairs (New Delhi), we are also looking out for him,” Walse-Patil said.
He admitted to have heard that Singh might have fled abroad but pointed out it was impermissible for him to do so without an official sanction.
After Singh failed to repeatedly comply with the summons of Justice Chandiwal Commission, he was fined thrice, and a bailable warrant against him was issued twice as the state CID failing to locate him at his known addresses in Mumbai, Chandigarh and Rohtak.
If the untraceable Singh fails to appear before the Commission’s next hearing on 6 October, he faces the prospects of a non-bailable warrant.
The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government ally Congress on Friday accused BJP of “a definite role in giving a safe passage” to Singh.
“If Singh has fled India, then there has to be a definite role of BJP in giving a safe passage to him. Quite clear that saving Singh supports the agenda of BJP,” state Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said.
He pointed out how the National Investigating Agency (NIA) had probed the Antilia terror threat case first and its chargesheet clearly mentions that dismissed officer Sachin Vaze was reporting to Singh, who paid Rs 5 lakhs to a cyber expert to create an alibi.
“Still if Singh flees, then it’s a failure of the NIA. What was the chowkidar government doing? How often do we find chowkidar government napping when people like Nirav Modi, (Mehul) Choksi, (Vijay) Mallya and Singh run away?” Sawant asked.
Maharashtra’s former home minister Anil Deshmukh has been facing investigation by CBI and ED in connection with corruption charges following a letter from Singh to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Soon afterwards, the Bombay High Court ordered a preliminary enquiry by the CBI leading to Deshmukh’s resignation, while Singh proceeded on leave in May.
In June, the MVA hit back by registering cases of alleged extortion, cheating, forgery, and set up a one-man enquiry commission to probe the charges against Singh.
(With inputs from IANS)