Param Bir appears before panel over extortion charges

Deshmukh corruption probe: Warrant against Param Bir Singh cancelled as he appears before inquiry commission

The one-member commission was formed in March this year to probe the allegations levelled by Singh against the then home minister and NCP leader Deshmukh

A commission probing corruption allegations against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh cancelled the bailable warrant issued against former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh after the latter appeared before the panel on Monday. 

The Justice K U Chandiwal Commission also directed Singh to deposit Rs 15,000 in the chief minister's relief fund. Singh also filed an affidavit before the single-member commission, saying he has nothing to depose and doesn't want to be crossed- examined by the probe panel. 

In a related development, Anil Deshmukh's lawyer raised objection before the commission over Singh and dismissed police officer Sachin Waze sitting together in another room in the commission's premises. Waze has been appearing before the commission for his cross-examination in connection with the case.

"Singh and the witness (Waze) are sitting together for the last one hour. He (Singh) might influence the witness," Deshmukh's lawyer said. Justice Chandiwal (retired) initially said "how can it be stopped?" He later told Waze that "it's better to sit in this room" (where the commission's proceeding was taking place) to avoid such a situation. 

Waze was arrested in the case of an explosives-laden SUV found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence 'Antilia' in south Mumbai earlier this year and the subsequent suspicious death of businessman Mansukh Hiran. 

Also Read | Conspiracy to frame me in Anil Deshmukh-style: Nawab Malik

Singh, who was transferred from the post of Mumbai police commissioner in March in the aftermath of the Antilia bomb scare episode, had alleged that Deshmukh asked police officers to collect Rs 100 crore a month from bars and restaurants in the city. 

The one-member commission was formed by the Maharashtra government in March this year to probe the allegations levelled by Singh against the then home minister and NCP leader Deshmukh. The panel had earlier fined Singh on multiple occasions for failing to appear before it and also issued a bailable warrant against him. 

Declared absconding by a court here in an extortion case, Singh surfaced in public last Thursday after six months, and appeared before the Mumbai crime branch to record his statement. 

The Supreme Court has granted him temporary protection from arrest. Singh appeared before Thane police on Friday in connection with an extortion case filed against him and some other police officials on the complaint of a local builder. 

The IPS officer is facing at least five extortion cases in Maharashtra. 

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