'Why did you not file FIR against Anil Deshmukh?' HC asks Param Bir Singh on graft charges
Bombay HC was hearing a criminal PIL filed by the former chief of Mumbai Police on March 25 alleging corrupt practices by Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and seeking a CBI inquiry
March 31, 2021 / 05:26 PM IST
Bombay HC is hearing Param Bir Singh's PIL against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh
The Bombay High Court while hearing a criminal PIL filed by ex-Chief of Mumbai Police, Param Bir Singh, asked him why he did not lodge an FIR against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh if he was aware of alleged wrongdoings by the minister.
Singh filed a criminal PIL on March 25, seeking a CBI inquiry into the alleged corrupt practices of Anil Deshmukh, which the Bombay High Court was hearing on March 31.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni rapped the former IPS Officer for not raising his voice or filing an FIR when he was aware of the alleged corrupt practices in the State administration.
"You (Param Bir Singh) are a police officer. If you find an offence has been committed you are duty, you are duty-bound to file an FIR. Why did you not do it? You are failing in your duty if you don't file an FIR when you know an offence has been committed. Simply writing letters to the CM won't do. We can pull you up for it. If any citizen finds an offence is being committed he is duty-bound to file an FIR," the Bench observed, as reported by Livelaw.
The bench further noted that Singh cannot convert the HC into a magistrate court and orally remarked that there can be no investigation without FIR. CJ Datta has made it clear that it is only in "very-very rare cases".
“Was any of these statements made by the Home Minister in Singh’s presence? Otherwise, this is nothing but hearsay,” the court asked.
The HC further said there is also no affidavit submitted by any of the police officers who were allegedly called by Deshmukh to his residence, supporting the allegations levelled by Singh.
The bench said without an FIR it cannot pass an order directing an independent agency to investigate the matter.
“Our prima facie opinion is that without an FIR, this court cannot order an investigation. Your prayer seeking a direction to the CBI to investigate appears to be harsh in the absence of an FIR,” Chief Justice Datta said.