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7 Questions by Ex Mum Police Chief for Param Bir, Vaze & Maha Govt

“If you don’t have integrity, you cannot command a force,” says former Mumbai police commissioner Julio Ribeiro.

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“If you don’t have integrity, you cannot command a force. I am absolutely of that view,” said 91-year-old Julio Ribeiro, former Mumbai Police Commissioner, while reflecting on the legal and political mess in Maharashtra in the backdrop of the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case and the allegations levelled by former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh.

After former API Sachin Vaze’s arrest in the case, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh was sacked and transferred from his post – a move that led Singh to drag Deshmukh and the state government to the courts.

The Bombay High Court (HC) has now ordered a preliminary inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the matter, but several questions still remain.
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  • Why did Singh level allegations after his transfer?
  • Why was Sachin Vaze reinstated and on whose orders?
  • Why were his seniors subbed for him to lead the Crime Intelligence Unit?
  • Did Singh have no knowledge of Vaze’s involvement in placing the SUV outside Ambani’s house?

These and many more questions Ribeiro wished the CBI asks Singh and Deshmukh while interrogating them.

‘Not a Moral Victory for Param Bir, But for the People’

Asked if a CBI inquiry was a moral victory for Singh, Ribeiro pointed out: “I don’t think it’s a moral victory for Param Bir, I don’t know if he considers it like that. But I think it’s a moral victory for the people of Mumbai or the people of Maharashtra, because this relationship between the politicians and the senior police officers has to be broken some time or the other. And I think because Param Bir Singh was removed from that post in peak, he has gone public.”

Commenting on Singh dragging Deshmukh to the courts only after his transfer and on the options before him other than a court battle, Ribeiro said he would not have raised the issue as long as he felt safe at the post.

“At that time when he was informed by Sachin Vaze and another gentleman called Patil that they had been summoned to the minister’s house, and if they had immediately come and told their boss at that time, he (Param Bir Singh) would not have been shifted. So, he didn’t think it was necessary to come out with that. He would not have filed any FIR, and even if he was shifted, filing of FIR becomes a little difficult because then you have burnt all your boats. I don’t think he would do that; he is quite shrewd that way. And of course, he must have been very angry and upset over this, and I am not surprised that he did it,” said Ribeiro.

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‘I Have Some Questions’

Calling the CBI a “caged parrot,” Ribeiro said that he is not sure if the agency would come out with the total truth and might come out with investigation just against Deshmukh since he belongs to the Opposition.

Further, he said he wishes the CBI asks the following questions:

  • How did Vaze get reinstated after 13 years under suspension? That is the first question we would like to know. If the politicians are involved, then they should please come out with it.
  • Why was he posted in the Crime Branch? The reason given for his reinstatement was the pandemic.
  • Was he put on any COVID-related duties? If not, then why not? Because you said he was required for COVID duties.
  • Why was he given independent charge of the crime intelligence unit? It is always held by a Senior Inspector.
  • Why was he allowed to report directly to the commissioner himself instead of his hierarchical superiors? There were four layers between him and the head of the crime branch. Why were they all ignored?
  • Did he know of the plan to plant a car, an SUV, with gelatine sticks and a threat letter outside the Ambani house. Did he know it or not? Because Vaze used to report directly to him. I don’t think that Vaze could make such a plan on his own. I refuse to believe that. Did he know it? And then he should tell us what the motive was, what was the reason why this was done.
  • He has a room in a five-star hotel which he has booked under different name. The others knew about it. Param Bir who is his boss and who is in direct contact with him did not know? I am really shocked.

‘Mumbai Police’s Image Was Tarnished’

In the context of whether the episode has tarnished the image of the Mumbai police, Ribeiro said: “Of course, it has and there is no doubt about that, and the police knows it. But I can tell you that policemen and the ordinary low rank officers, the inspectors and others are all very good. They are people who you could rely on. But it depends on the leadership. Now if the government, which in its wisdom chooses the leader who is rather beholden to them and not someone who can command the respect of the force, then the government is at fault in choosing such leaders.”

“The people have to be alert to see that this doesn’t happen again. If it does, the force is bound to deteriorate. I’m sorry for the force because it is a good force, the people are good, the material is good, it has to be properly led. If they want bad people, they have bad people. If they want good people, there are many of them. Why not take them?” he added.

“At least the people, the public will gain. And the police officers are servants of the people, they are not there to feather their own nest. They are not here for that.”

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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