Bombay Sept 16 (ILNS) The Bombay High Court on Thursday termed as non-maintainable, the petition filed by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, seeking quashing of two preliminary enquiries (PEs) initiated against him by the Maharashtra government.
A Division Benches of Justices S.S. Shinde and N.J. Jamadar observed that reliefs claimed by petitioner can be adjudicated only by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) and added that if the petitioner approaches the appropriate forum, the same can be decided by the concerned authority independently without prejudice to the High Court’s order.
Earlier on July 28, the Court had reserved its verdict on the maintainability of Singh’s petition, which challenged initiation of two preliminary inquiries against him in connection with the Ambani bomb scare case and the allegations made by inspector Anup Dange, who was suspended last year, but was reinstated recently by the Mumbai Police.
Singh had alleged that the probes were initiated to scuttle the CBI investigation ordered by the HC on April 5, following his allegations of corruption against former state home minister Anil Deshmukh.
The Maharashtra government had said that Singh’s contentions pertaining to preliminary inquiries come under the purview of the All India Service Rules, which are dealt by CAT.
Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, representing Singh, said that both the probes were initiated hastily and without application of mind.
He added that it was not a “mere administrative inquiry,” but also dealt with the criminal aspect of the case and the same was arbitrary and against the law.
Senior Counsel Darius Khambata, representing Maharashtra government, said the petition pertained to “service matters” and should be raised before CAT. Opposing Singh’s contention that the government action was a form of vendetta, Khambata said the complaint was lodged by Dange in February, long before Singh’s letter on March 20 accusing Deshmukh of corruption.
Jethmalani said the government, with the help of DGP Sanjay Pandey, was trying to convince Singh to withdraw the lette.
Khambata had told the court that as the DGP has recused himself from the probes and other officers would conduct the investigations now, Singh’s plea should be rendered infructuous and non-maintainable. The state had submitted the progress report of the two inquiries in a sealed cover to the High Court./ILNS