Builder settled dispute, case re-opened in complaint against Param Bir Singh

The Marine Drive police have registered a case of cheating and extortion against former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh, five other police officials, and two others on a complaint from a Bhayandar businessman.

The two civilians named by businessman Sham Sundar Agarwal in the FIR late Wednesday were arrested, and produced in court on Thursday. Identified as Sanjay Punamia and Sunil Jain, they have been remanded to police custody for seven days.

Agarwal alleged that he was falsely implicated in a case and the eight conspired against him and demanded money in return for not arresting him.

Aside from Singh, the other police officials named in the case are Deputy Commissioner of Police Akbar Pathan, ACP Sanjay Patil, ACP Shrikant Shinde and police inspectors Asha Korke and Nandkumar Gopale.

Agarwal and his two nephews Sharad and Shubham are in the construction business at Mira Road and Bhayandar area. He had a long-running dispute dating back to 2011 with his erstwhile business partner Punamia, which was settled in the Bombay High Court in April this year. The complaint Wednesday by Agarwal, on the basis of which the police have registered a case, that he accepted the settlement under duress, has opened up an old dispute again.

This is the second case against Param Bir Singh after his falling out with the government following his allegation that as Home Minister, Anil Deshmukh had asked Sachin Waze, the Assistant Sub-Inspector arrested in the Ambani security scare case, to collect Rs 100 crore monthly from Mumbai bars and restaurants.

In the state, so far, one FIR under relevant sections of atrocities act was registered against the former Mumbai CP.

In his complaint, Agarwal made a string of allegations that Punamia and police officials were working together to extort money from him and his nephews. Agarwal alleged in his complaint that he was arrested in 2016 after a case was registered against him in a Thane police station, at the time Singh was the Thane police commissioner. The case was registered at the behest of Punamia, he has alleged according to the FIR.

Agarwal claimed Punamia was a “close confidante” of Param Bir Singh and that he repeatedly used Singh’s name to threaten him and extort money from him. He claims to have paid large sums of money to avoid arrest, though nowhere in the complaint is it mentioned that he handed over money to Singh.

In February, on a complaint of Punamiya, an FIR of extortion, conspiracy and criminal intimidation was registered against Agarwal at Juhu police station. The case was subsequently transferred to crime branch unit IX of which Gopale was incharge and Korke was also posted there. Sections of Maharashtra Control Of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) were also added to it. Agarwal’s lawyer Shekhar Jagtap told The Indian Express that threatened with arrest under the MCOCA, “my client was forced to sign on the forged deed of settlement which was submitted in the High court on April 21.”

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