The Gujarat government on Wednesday told the high court that two retired police officers who are accused in fake encounter cases were reappointed on contract basis because their performance in the past was “outstanding”. The state filed an affidavit before the division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi in response to a PIL filed by retired IPS officer Rahul Sharma, challenging reappointment of NK Amin as SP, Mahisagar, and Tarun Barot as DySP, Western Railways at Vadodara.
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The past performance of Amin and Barot, as per their confidential reports, was “outstanding”, so in compliance with a government resolution they were reappointed for a period of one year, said Nikhil Bhatt, joint secretary (personnel) home department, in the affidavit.
Sharma said in his petition that the two officers had “criminal antecedents” and their reappointment was not in the public interest.
The government rejected Sharma’s contention that police officers are appointed as per the Bombay Police Act. SP and DySP-rank officers are not under this Act, it said.
Government is empowered to grant contractual appointment on non-technical posts subject to conditions laid down in a resolution dated December 23, 1996, the affidavit said.
Amin and Barot were appointed “after considering past ten years of their confidential reports as required under the GR (government resolution)”, it said.
Sharma had pointed out that Amin was arrested and listed in the charge sheet in Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Ishrat Jahan fake encounter cases. He was discharged in the first case, while the Ishrat Jahan case was still pending before the trial court, he said.
Barot was named in the charge sheet and arrested in Ishrat Jahan and Sadiq Jamal fake encounter cases and later got bail, Sharma’s petition said.