The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Monday recalled a March 7 order that allowed amendments to IPS officer Rajnish Rai’s original application before the single judge bench. The CAT Ahmedabad bench will now review the amendments that were allowed via two miscellaneous applications, earlier this year.
Rai had approached the CAT last year after his request for voluntary retirement from services was rejected by the Central government.
The review was granted by the CAT single judge bench after it came to light that the amendments were allowed and the order was passed, without hearing all parties involved. It was also concluded that a single judge can hear the matter, which was contested earlier by the state and central governments, citing that such cases can be adjudicated by only a division bench.
The review application before the CAT single-judge bench will look into a miscellaneous application filed by Rai in January this year, seeking an amendment to his original application filed at the CAT. The amendment was sought to challenge the fresh charge sheet issued by Union of India on January 14, 2019, while staying further proceedings into the charge sheet. Although this amendment was allowed by the CAT then, it now stands revoked. It will be under review now and will be heard next on July 16.
The CAT order of March 7 had also directed Rai to take up the matter before a division bench after the Gujarat government pleader, Manisha Lavkumar, argued that the original application filed by Rai was beyond the jurisdiction of the said tribunal. Rai then moved the Gujarat High Court. With interim relief, he could retire from services with effect from November 30, 2018, after serving his mandatory three-month notice period. Rai’s relief remains uncontested and will continue as is.
Notably, the state government and the Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in its reply to Rai’s HC petition in May this year, noted that the fact the CAT allowed Rai’s amendment seeking to challenge the Central government’s charge sheet, was without jurisdiction and “therefore, the amendment carried out in the petition/application also can be said to be illegal as the same is based on an order which is without jurisdiction”.
Rai’s petition in the High Court that sought a comprehensive direction for interim relief, is expected to be heard on July 4. In his petition, Rai sought that the court may direct the respondents to maintain status quo in respect of his service in the Indian Police Service, and “not to take any further coercive action against Rai, on the grounds of him having proceeded on retirement”.
Rai joined the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad as an assistant professor, Public Systems Group, on May 6 this year. He notified on August 28, 2018, about his VRS to be effective from November 30, 2018. His request to retire voluntarily was not acceded to by the Central government citing pending inquiries against him. He abdicated his services on November 30, 2018, following which the Centre suspended the officer as per an order dated December 17, 2018, and initiated disciplinary proceedings against him by serving a Memorandum of Articles of Charge on January 14, 2019.
Rai supervised the probe into the “fake encounter” of Sohra-buddin Sheikh, his wife, Kauserbi, and Tulsiram Prajapati in 2007.