Ishrat Jahan case: Even after 90 days from arrest,top cop remains under ‘deemed suspension’

Others arrested in encounter cases were suspended within 30-60 days from arrest.

Written by Ujjwala Nayudu | Ahmedabad | Published: May 28, 2013 4:39 am

Although the special CBI court granted bail to suspended IPS officer G L Singhal,an accused in the Ishrat Jahan ecounter case,he would remain,in the first ever such instance in the state,under “deemed suspension”.

Others arrested in encounter cases were suspended within 30-60 days from arrest.

According to the Indian Central Civil Services (CCS) Rules (1965),a government officer should be suspended within 48 hours of his detention or arrest in a disciplinary or criminal proceedings. However,the state government did not order for Singhal’s suspension. He was mentioned as an accused in the FIR the CBI registered in New Delhi in December 2011 and also in the following reports of the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

The state government had earlier claimed Singhal’s resignation letter was fake. However,it had received the report from the Gujarat Forensic Science Laboratory that proved it was indeed Singhal’s letter. Despite receiving the report,the state government did not order for Singhal’s suspension. Singhal is the first officer under “deemed suspension” from the last 90 days with the Gujarat Police.

Singhal had been posted as a Superintendent of Police with the State Crime Records Bureau in Gandhinagar and had sent a handwritten resignation letter to the State Home Department on March 2.

The letter had created confusion in the Gujarat Police. They couldn’t decide if Singhal had quit the force or he had been suspended.

The state government had,however,sent his letter for a handwriting analysis to the FSL,suspecting it was not Singhal who signed the letter but it was sent by his unknown supporters.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) S K Nanda who had ordered the forensic examination of the letter had received the forensic analysis report in April. He said,“The FSL report had concluded that Singhal had written the resignation letter. The letter had a signature at the end that was suspicious but it did match with the other reports he had been filing to the government. The handwriting experts matched the signatures and confirmed it was his.”

Sources in the Directorate of Forensic Science (DFS) said the report was handed over to the Home Department within a month of their inquiry. According to the Home Department,Singhal’s resignation had come eight days after his arrest on February 21 and it couldn’t have been accepted because an officer arrested or detained in criminal or bribery cases for 48 hours is “deemed suspended”.

However,the state government has now decided to keep him under “deemed suspension” only. Nanda added,“Singhal,even after his bail,would remain under deemed suspension only. He will not be a regular officer on duty”.

Under the CCS rules,the state government can revoke the suspension made or deemed. However,if the criminal proceedings in the case begin again,the revocation is cancelled.

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