The Gujarat government on Wednesday told the High Court that N K Amin and Tarun Barot, two police officers currently on bail in alleged fake encounter cases, have “an outstanding performance for the past 10 years”, based on which they were reinstated after their superannuation.
In an affidavit filed before the Gujarat High Court, the government defended their reinstatement and said the move in this regard was initiated by the Director General of Police (P P Pandey, who is currently on bail in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case) after approval from the chief minister and the home department. Former IPS officer Rahul Sharma has challenged the reinstatement of the two police officers and the affidavit was filed in response to his PIL.
Watch What Else Is making News
While the CBI in the Bombay High Court had recently challenged the discharge of N K Amin — whose tenure was extended for one year as SP of Mahisagar district after his superannuation in September — in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, he is still an accused in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case. Tarun Barot, currently on bail in the Ishrat Jahan and the 2003 Sadiq Jamal Mehtar encounter cases, was brought back to service by the state government in October, nearly two years after his retirement. He is currently DySP, headquarters, Western Railway in Vadodara on a one-year contract.
“There is no departmental proceedings pending against either of these two officers which would be an impediment to future contractual appointment,” the affidavit stated.
“Their performance as recorded in the Confidential Reports reveal ‘Outstanding Performance’,” it further said.
Sharma has challenged the appointments, saying, “The contractual appointment of such retired officers with criminal antecedents is not in the interest of a healthy police administration and sends a wrong signal to the society regarding the rule of law.”
The government affidavit mentioned that Amin was arrested by the CID (crime) in 2007 in connection with the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, which also includes death of his wife Kauserbi and the 2006 killing of witness Tulsiram Prajapati. The state government said that the special CBI court order, discharging Amin in this case, “has attained finality and the same has not been challenged before any higher forum.” However, the order has since been challenged.
Amin had been granted bail in the Sohrabuddin case in 2013, but was immediately arrested by the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan case. He remained in jail till May 2015 when he was granted bail. He was reinstated soon after.
Barot had retired in 2014 when he was still behind bars. He was granted default bail in the Ishrat case, but remained in jail till July 2015 in connection with the Sadiq Jamal encounter case.
The government said that after the two officers were granted bail, they have not violated any of the conditions mentioned in the bail. The affidavit said Amin was promoted from DySP to SP in August 2015 and the move was never challenged.
The matter is likely to be heard on November 29.
Govt slams Rahul Sharma for ‘personal bias’
The state government through the affidavit has questioned the locus standi of the petitioner. The affidavit said Sharma has been chargesheeted in two departmental inquiries. It also said that Sharma took voluntary retirement, and while accepting it the state government closed 34 preliminary inquiries against him.
“Further, the officers against whom the present PIL has been filed were his colleagues working in the same police establishment. The present petition clearly and manifestly appears to be the result of the petitioner’s personal bias, not only against the two officers who were working with him but also against the state administration with whom many proceedings/litigations/ were/are pending.”