The whereabouts of former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh were not known, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court.
As the IPS officer was not traceable, it did not wish to continue its assurance that no coercive action (such as arrest) would be taken against him in an Atrocities Act case, the government said.
Senior counsel Darius Khambata, appearing for the state, told a division bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and Sarang Kotwal that the circumstances had changed.
"He isn't traceable. In these circumstances, we do not want to continue our earlier statement where the government said it would not take any coercive action against him," Mr Khambata said.
Param Bir Singh's counsel Mahesh Jethmalani said he had not been declared as an absconder yet.
"In this case, he was summoned twice and both the times he responded," Mr Jethmalani said.
The high court was hearing a petition filed by the senior IPS officer seeking to quash the FIR lodged against him under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and relevant IPC sections on a complaint filed by police inspector Bhimrao Ghadge.
The judges adjourned the hearing to the next week.
Mr Ghadge, presently posted in Akola district, has leveled allegations of corruption against Singh and some other officers when Mr Singh was Thane police commissioner.
Mr Singh pressurised him to drop the names of some persons from a case and when he refused, he was framed up in false cases, Ghadge claimed.
The FIR was registered under the Atrocities Act as the complainant belongs to an SC community as well as for extortion and some other Indian Penal Code offenses.
Mr Singh's lawyer claimed that the FIR was a backlash over Mr Singh's allegations of corruption against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh.
The IPS officer is also facing at least four extortion cases in Thane and Mumbai.
He was transferred from the post of Mumbai police commissioner in March after the arrest of police officer (now dismissed) Sachin Waze in the case of an SUV with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence and the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran.
Mr Singh then accused Deshmukh of asking Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every month from bars and restaurants in Mumbai. The NCP leader, who denied the allegation, soon stepped down as minister and is facing CBI probe.