MAHARASHTRA cadre IPS officer Abdur Rehman, who had tendered his resignation to the state government after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 (CAA) was passed in December, has been issued a showcause notice by the state government for attending an anti-CAA rally in Mumbra.
The notice was issued on the grounds that the officer’s resignation has not been accepted as yet and, hence, is technically still a serving officer. The Home department is already conducting an inquiry against Rehman in connection with another case. He could be dismissed from service and lose retirement benefits if the government is not satisfied with his answer.
A Home department official said, “After he attended a protest at Mumbra last month, we issued a showcause notice to him. He is still a serving officer and what he did is against service rules. We have already received a reply from him on the notice and will go through it and take a final call.” The official added that apart from this, there was already an ongoing inquiry against Rehman. But he refused to clarify what the inquiry was about.
Rehman, however, denied getting any showcause notice or any pending inquiry against him. When contacted, he said, “It is true I attended the rally at Mumbra on December 14 against CAA. I did so after tendering my resignation to the state. I have not received any showcause notice nor are there any departmental inquiries or chargesheets against me.”
Interestingly, Maharashtra Minorities Affairs Minister Nawab Malik had earlier this week asked Rehman to not quit and join his ministry to oversee the WAQF board. Malik had told the media that he wanted an upright officer to ensure transparency and quick disposal of cases at the WAQF board and hence made an offer to Rehman. Rehman had reportedly sought time to decide on the issue.
Rehman, who was posted as the IG State Human Rights Commission, had tendered his resignation on December 11 after Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Rehman had earlier applied for VRS on August 1, 2019. However, through a letter dated October 25, 2019, MHA did not accept the application.
Following this, Rehman approached Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) against the MHA order stating that the order was given without application of mind with clear prejudice, unfairly and abusing power of authority as no chargesheet or any departmental inquiry was pending against him.
He mentioned this in the application to the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) adding that owing to personal reasons, he would not be able to attend office from December 12. The letter further stated that if voluntary retirement was not granted to him by the courts, the application should be treated as his letter of resignation from service. Later talking to the media, he had called it an act of civil disobedience.
Soon after the officer tendered his resignation, Urdu journalist Shirin Dalvi too returned an award she had received from the Maharashtra State Urdu Sahitya Academy protesting the new law.
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