Prashant Bhushan Delhi
Media reports about a taped phone conversation involving Rajbir Singh, ACP Special Cell of the Delhi Police, show his role as a participant in property disputes between unsavoury characters. These conversations, intercepted by the Narcotics Bureau, show the Delhi supercop’s dealings with a narcotics/property dealer Y Kumar. If the tape is genuine, its contents clearly point to the involvement of Singh and his men of the special cell in pressurising property dealers/sellers of property on behalf of other dealers/buyers. For this, they appear to be receiving large sums of money (Rs 50 lakh in this case) as is evident from the taped conversations. This comes on the heels of another incident recently in Mansarovar Gardens in the capital where Special Cell officers were reportedly involved in beating up some property dealers/sellers. Singh has been accused by residents of Mansarovar Gardens of intimidating them and using force to settle a land dispute.
The phone conversations suggest that he uses the staff of the Special Cell, including his decorated colleague, Devendar. This is a serious abuse of the special powers given to the cell and needs to be investigated thoroughly. If the officer is found guilty, appropriate action needs to be taken against this "encounter specialist".
It remains a moot point how far an impartial inquiry can be conducted against such a powerful figure. The Delhi High Court has directed Delhi Police Joint Commissioner (Vigilance) to order a fresh inquiry against Rajbir Singh after the Delhi Police chief exonerated him. Since the ACP reports to IB and not Delhi Police, that exoneration does not mean very much. Unfortunately, the Delhi High Court order will also result only in an internal inquiry into the Mansarovar episode. The court specifically rejected the petitioners’ plea that a CBI inquiry be instituted against him. Consequently, it is unlikely that the transcript of the phone conversation will figure in the Joint Commissioner’s probe.
The author is Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India