Days after the Gujarat government reappointed police officer Tarun Barot almost two years after his retirement and granted one-year extension on contractual basis to IPS officer N K Amin post his superannuation, former IPS officer Rahul Sharma has moved a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Gujarat High Court, challenging their reinstatement. Barot and Amin, accused in alleged fake encounter cases, have earlier been chargesheeted by the CBI.
Sharma, a 1992-batch IPS officer, took voluntary retirement in 2014 and is now a practising lawyer. The PIL, which is listed for hearing Wednesday, has challenged the legality of these appointments, arguing that only officers who have impeccable and outstanding merit can be given such benefits. While Sharma didn’t respond despite repeated attempts, sources in the court said that the PIL alleged that the government’s decision lacked legal basis.
“The officers having outstanding merit can be taken back in service and that too when there are posts available,” sources in the know of the petition said. However, this didn’t apply in the case of the two officers, they added.
Underlining the cases against these two officers, the petition mentions that Barot is out on bail in the 2003 Sadiq Jamal Mehtar and 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter cases. He was among the accused police officers who shot at Ishrat and others. Barot retired in 2014 while he was still behind bars at the Nadiad sub-jail. On October 13, the home department issued a notification, stating that Barot, who retired as deputy superintendent of police (DySP), was appointed as DySP, headquarters, Western Railway, Vadodara on a one-year contract.
Amin, on the other hand, was due to retire on August 31 this year when the state government awarded him a year extension on contractual basis on the same post as Superintendent of Police of Mahisagar district, a first for an IPS officer.
Amin is a co-accused in Ishrat Jahan encounter case and is currently out on bail. Recently, he was discharged in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case by the special CBI court in Mumbai.
Earlier this year, Sharma had challenged the elevation of DGP P P Pandey as Gujarat’s in-charge DGP, as a lawyer of former Gujarat DGP Julio Ribeiro. The petition was, however, dismissed by the HC.
Sharma is known for his run-ins with the Gujarat government after he deposed before the Nanavati Commission that inquired into the 2002 riots. He was posted as SP of Bhavnagar in 2002.