The Gujarat High Court Tuesday allowed the removal of the names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former IAS officer Varesh Sinha as parties from a petition challenging an order in favour of former IPS officer Rahul Sharma.
The state government filed the petition, challenging the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) quashing a chargesheet against Sharma in connection with CDs pertaining to the 2002 riots cases. In its petition, the government sought removal of the PM’s name and Sinha’s name from the litigation.
Sinha, the former chief secretary, is currently State Election Commissioner.
In the petition, the state government asked the court to “delete respondent no-3 (Sinha) and 4 (Modi) herein as the only contesting parties in the present proceedings can be said to be respondent no-1 (Rahul Sharma), the original applicant”.
A division bench of Justices M R Shah and A S Supehia said, “It is submitted that even in the proceedings before the learned tribunal, the learned tribunal had not issued any notice to respondents nos-3 and 4 herein. Permission is accordingly granted.”
Sharma, who is now a practising lawyer, was chargesheeted for keeping the CDs — containing geographical locations of the accused in 2002 riots cases and others — with him instead of handing them over to the concerned department or investigating officer. He moved the CAT against the chargesheet in 2011.
The tribunal quashed the chargesheet, stating that the CDs were in Sharma’s custody since 2002 but the state government led by Modi, despite knowing so, did not do anything to get them back. The tribunal also said the action against the former officer was “tainted by mischief” and “coloured by malice and mala fides”.