The Ahmedabad bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Tuesday questioned the chargesheet filed against whistleblower IPS officer DIG Rahul Sharma on the ground that the existing chargesheet was not signed by the then chief minister Narendra Modi.
Sharma had been denied promotion after this chargesheet and he raised this issue before CAT, citing an apex court order that said that apart from getting sanction for filing the chargesheet against officers of the Indian Civil Services the chargesheet must be signed by the chief minister concerned. The court was hearing the petition filed by Sharma, challenging the validity of the chargesheet.
In response, state special public prosecutor Manisha Lavkumar told the court that the chargesheet memo will be withdrawn and the matter will be posted for chief minister’s approval, following which a fresh chargesheet will be filed.
“The head of General Administrative Department (GAD) has taken the decision. The draft of the chargesheet was approved by the chief minister, but we will place the matter before the CM,” Lavkumar told the bench.
However, the bench mentioning the SC’s order said that such chargesheet against civil service officers should have been approved and signed by the CM. The bench has asked to file an application explaining this issue in the next hearing.
Sharma has challenged this chargesheet, which is one of the three petitions he moved before the CAT in March this year.
This chargesheet is based on the “misconduct” of Sharma alleging that he allowed a non-gazetted officer, his head clerk, sign on his behalf on one of his leave applications.
The IPS officer has countered this allegation by showing departmental correspondence by other senior officers such as the then DGP Chitranjan Singh (retired) whose letters were similarly signed by non-gazetted officers such as personal assistant, among others.
Apart from the chargesheet filed against him, Sharma has challenged six show-cause notices and the adverse remarks on his Annual Confidential Report (ACR) that denied him promotion in 2012 when he was superseded.
Earlier, during the hearing, the state government moved a Miscellaneous Application (MA) seeking vacating of the stay for taking any action against Sharma on the chargesheet as well as show-cause notices issued against him. The matter is likely to be heard on Thursday.
Soon after his meeting with Raju Ramchandran, amicus curiae appointed by the Supreme Court in Zakia Jafri’s complaint against Narendra Modi and other in 2002 riots, Sharma said that he was served “a major penalty chargesheet by the government for not handing over the CDs containing call data records during the riots to the Crime Branch, Ahmedabad.”
These CDs later on proved a vital source of evidence in the trial of rioting cases.
Sharma’s lawyer, M N Rao, read out before the tribunal that the government didn’t do anything against Sharma until his meeting with Ramchandran in July 2011 while the CDs case was in 2004.
He also narrated the incident in Bhavnagar when Sharma as Superintendent of Police saved some 400 lives from the rioters at a Madrasa.
Sharma has alleged that Additional Director General of Police Tirth Raj had started nitpicking against him.
Sharma has alleged that the cases against him is nothing but “witch-hunt”.