In what appears like a counterattack strategy by the Maharashtra government to salvage its image sullied by the extortion charge on former state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the state’s police department has extracted a statement from cricket bookie Sonu Jalan that defames former Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. Jalan has alleged that IPS officer Param Bir Singh had asked him to pay Rs 10 crore to former police inspector Pradeep Sharma if he wanted to avoid arrest in a “big case”, sources said.
Neither Singh nor Sharma was available for a reaction to the allegation.
The CID of Maharashtra Police is investigating extortion allegation of Jalan against former Mumbai police commissioner Singh, Sharma, inspector Rajkumar Kothmire and others.
In his statement, Jalan told CID officials that after his arrest in a betting case in May 2018 by the Anti Extortion Cell of Thane police, he was taken to Param Bir Singh who was then Thane police commissioner.
Param Bir Singh asked for information about cricket bookies in India and threatened to arrest him in a ‘big case’ along with his family members, he claimed.
If he wanted to save himself, Jalan should pay Rs 10 crore to Pradeep Sharma, Singh allegedly told Jalan, as per the statement.
Param Bir Singh was shunted out as Mumbai police commissioner following police officer Sachin Waze’s arrest in the case of SUV with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house. Singh later accused then state home minister Anil Deshmukh of corruption.
Earlier, The Maharashtra government on 24 May agreed to not arrest former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh in a case registered against him in Thane, provided he drops the petition filed in the matter in the Supreme Court.
Advocate Darius Khambata, appearing for the Maharashtra government, on 24 May told the Bombay High Court that Param Bir Singh had approached the Supreme Court where he alleged that the Bombay HC was hearing him.
This was vehemently denied by Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for Singh. Although he remarked that he was not appearing for Singh before the SC, so was not aware about the petition there.
Khambata then read out two paragraphs from Singh’s petition. It read as “It is submitted that the Petitioner (Singh) has also filed two Writ Petition before the Hon’ble Bombay High Court, however, the same were either not taken up on the date of hearing or was adjourned to a later date without even being given an opportunity to the Petitioner to be heard.”