Maharashtra govt revokes suspension of ex-police commissioner Param Bir Singh, drops charges

The state government on Wednesday dropped charges and revoked the suspension of Singh (now retired) by citing a Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order

Param Bir Singh (photo: IANS)
Param Bir Singh (photo: IANS)

NH Web Desk

The home department of the Maharashtra government has revoked the suspension order of Param Bir Singh, former Mumbai Police chief, as of Wednesday.

The order had been issued in December 2021 during the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government in the state. Now the government led by Eknath Shinde–Devendra Fadnavis on May 10 has revoked the suspension and also stated that Singh's entire tenure until the date of his retirement should be treated as being "on duty".

The state government also dropped charges against Singh (now retired), citing a Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order that said the suspension order had lapsed because the government did not review it in time.

'It is under consideration of the Competent Authority to revoke the suspension order dated December 2, 2021, issued against Param Bir Singh in the view of order [sic] given by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT),' the order stated.

The order also continued, 'As per provisions of the All-India Services (Death-Cum-Recruitment Benefits) Rules 1958, the suspension of Param Bir Singh is revoked by the order and the period of suspension from December 2, 2021 to June 30, 2022, shall be treated as period spent on duty for all purposes.'

Singh, a 59-year-old Indian Police Service (IPS) graduate from the 1988 batch, was suspended and had disciplinary proceedings initiated against him for 'administrative lapses', including unauthorised absence from duty.

He was transferred from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner for 'mishandling' the 2021 Antilia bomb scare, and was appointed director general of the Maharashtra Home Guard in March that year, but did not show up for several months.

On 25 February 2021, an explosives-laden SUV was found on Carmichael Road outside Antilia, the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani. The car also had a threat note addressed to Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited. Singh was transferred to the Home Guard following the arrest of assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze in the Antilia case.

The former Mumbai Police chief wrote a letter after his transfer (known as letter bomb) to then-chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleging that then-home minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh (who had appointed Singh as commissioner) directed Vaze and others to collect ₹100 crore from bars and restaurants in one month. This led to Deshmukh stepping down as home minister.

The IPS officer was also declared as an 'absconding accused' in connection with an extortion case after he failed to appear before the police in November 2021. Subsequently, the Supreme Court granted him protection from arrest.

In December 2019, as head of the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau, Param Bir Singh had given a clean chit to then-deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar, who was facing charges related to execution of the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation project.

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