MUMBAI: The Justice Chandiwal commission set up by the Maharashtra government to probe former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh’s allegations against former state home minister Anil Deshmukh issued on Tuesday a bailable warrant against Singh for securing his attendance before the panel on September 22. This is the first time in the Maharashtra police force’s recent history that a warrant has been issued in the name of a serving IPS officer for securing his presence. Ever since the probe began, Singh has been on medical leave.
“Conduct of Param Bir Singh warrants condemnation as invited by himself, (sic) has compelled the commission to issue a warrant against him in the sum of Rs 50,000. Considering the status and stature of Param Bir Singh, the director general of police is requested to depute a high-ranking… police officer to execute the warrant. All safety measures for maintenance of law and order and medical examination as per rules shall equally be taken,” Justice K U Chanidwal observed in his three-page order.
Justice Chandiwal said the commission has been given all powers under the Commission of Inquiry Act, but in spite of that, the matter has been dragged. The panel said “an afflicted class suffers brunt of orders” while a high- ranking police officer, supposedly well versed with law, avoided the commission “on pretexts referred in earlier orders… which apparently are untenable”. The concessions extended to him have been “misused,” it said, and added that on earlier occasions, the commission did not act, but a hint was given.
“Today is the 15th date of hearing.. it is (sic) unexpected of such a high-ranking officer to abstain himself for 15 dates and to ensure calculatedly to get the inquiry protracted under the ruse of filing a writ petition or pendency of a PIL filed by an advocate, with which he has no concern,” Justice Chandiwal stated.
Following a letter written by Singh to CM Uddhav Thackeary alleging Deshmukh had set a target of mobilising Rs 100 crore from restaurant and bar owners, the state government on March 30 set up the one-man commission.
Because of Singh’s failure to appear, the commission so far has imposed on him a cost of Rs 55,000. Accordingly, he has deposited the amount in the chief minister’s relief fund for Covid-19. Singh has not attended the proceedings saying he has challenged the validity of the commission. His lawyer had sought an adjournment, saying the high court may pass an order soon, but when no order was passed till Tuesday, Justice Chandiwal issued the warrant.
Singh’s plea for adjournment was opposed by Deshmukh’s lawyer Anita Castellino, who had, at the last hearing, urged the commission to issue a warrant.

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