Rajnish Rai, the IPS officer best known for investigation of the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, has challenged his deputation as Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of public sector enterprises in Jharkhand, before the Delhi High Court and has sought posting back in the police force. The court has instructed the Central as well as state governments to consider his petition before further hearing.
Confirming the development Rai’s lawyer IH Syed said that the court has passed instructions to the government to consider his posting for the post of Inspector General of Police (IGP). Rai moved the High Court after principal bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), New Delhi allowed his similar petition but did not overrule his appointment and ordered the authorities to give him a fresh deputation within three months since Rai has already joined his post as CVO.
Before the tribunal, Rai contended that his posting as CVO in Jharkhand was a biased decision which also violated the norms for such deputation for which he had not applied. As per the rules, taking consent of the concerned officers is a must. Along with Rai another IPS Satish Verma was also posted as CVO in Shillong along with 8 other officers. Rai and Verma challenged their deputation before the CAT alleging that the postings were mala fide. The tribunal rejected Verma’s application while it granted relief to Rai.
Verma is best known for assisting Ishrat Jahan case that proved the encounter was fake and jointly executed by a team of Gujarat police officers and four IB officers. In this case, two senior most accused police officers Additional Director General of Police PP Pandey and retired Deputy Inspector General of Police DG Vanzara were granted bail. Pandey was reinstated back in police this Monday.
Rai mentioned in his application that he is a prosecution witness in the CBI case – Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter – in which he initially supervised the investigation and arrested three IPS officers, including DG Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian, Dinesh MN (Rajasthan cadre) among other policemen. He has said that it was this investigation that led to the arrest of BJP president Amit Shah that displeased the state government that started to “victimise” him. Shah was discharged from this encounter case in December last year by the order of a Mumbai Special CBI court.
CAT order states that “Rai had been treated differently thought it may not necessarily arise out of mala fide.” The order also notes without going into the detail that “the allegations of mala fide are heavy with political undertone,” but it states, “what has weighed with us is that while other eight or nine officers have been given a posting/central deputation within the ambit of their choice, reasons for posting the applicant (Rai) as CVO are not apparent before us.” It adds that Rai has not been treated at par.