Param Bir Singh plea against Maha govt inquiries can be adjudicated by CAT says HC
Mumbai, Sep 16: The Bombay High Court has rejected a petition filed by former Mumbai police commissioner, Param Bir Singh seeking quash two of the preliminary inquiries against him by the Maharashtra government.
The court said that the petitions were not maintainable. Singh was directed to approach the Central Administrative Tribunal.
A division bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar while dismissing the plea said the reliefs sought by Singh can be adjudicated by the Central Administrative Tribunal as it is a service matter.
The bench said if the petitioner (Singh) approaches the appropriate forum, then the same shall be heard and decided without any prejudice to the HC's order (of Thursday).
Singh in his petition has challenged two orders of the state government initiating preliminary inquiries against him - one for dereliction of duty and misconduct and the second for alleged corruption, PTI reported.
The first order on April 1 this year was passed by the then state home minister Anil Deshmukh for alleged violation of some All India Services (Conduct) Rules.
The second order of April 20 was passed by the current home minister (Dilip Walse Patil) over allegations of corruption levelled against Singh.
The state government had raised preliminary objections over Singh's petition and said it cannot be heard by the high court as it was a purely service matter and hence, ought to be heard by the administrative tribunal.
Government's counsel Darius Khambata had argued that the petition raised issues that are squarely covered under provisions of the Administrative Tribunals Act and is a service matter.
He had also argued that the petition was infructuous as the two preliminary inquiries challenged in the plea do not stand anymore, as Maharashtra's Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Pandey, who was to head the inquiries, recused following allegations levelled against him by Singh in the petition.
The government later ordered two new inquiries - one headed by director general of the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the second headed by additional chief secretary (planning).
Singh's counsel Mahesh Jethmalani had argued that the preliminary inquiries were set up hastily and without application of mind, and were out of condemnation and vendetta following Singh's complaint against former state home minister Anil Deshmukh.
In his petition, Singh had also levelled allegations against Sanjay Pandey, claiming that the DGP told him in a personal meeting that the enquiries were set up as a result of Singh's complaint against Anil Deshmukh.
In March this year, Singh in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray levelled corruption allegations against Deshmukh.