January 15, 2015 4:31:48 am
UPSC member A P Singh has submitted his resignation from the Commission following an adverse observation by a special court last month relating to his stint as CBI chief two years ago on charges framed by the agency in two “fake encounter” cases against current BJP chief Amit Shah.
The charges were framed against Shah in September 2012 in the deaths of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati. Singh was the CBI Director from December 2010 to November 2012, and the special court, while dismissing the agency’s charges on December 30, agreed with Shah that he had been included in the case due to “political reasons”.
After his CBI stint, Singh was appointed as a UPSC member by the previous UPA government in 2013. He subsequently appeared on the radar of Income Tax officials after they unearthed BBM messages between him and controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi who is facing an IT probe.
“I have resigned because of the court observation about the handling of the Amit Shah cases. As the CBI Director, I have always carried out my duties in a professional manner,” Singh told The Indian Express, adding that he had submitted his resignation a week ago.
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The CBI had filed a chargesheet on the “fake encounters” in a Gujarat court against 37 accused, including Shah and other senior state police officers such as former DIG D G Vanzara under sections 302 (murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code.
The chargesheet followed allegations that Prajapati, who was an eyewitness in the alleged fake encounter killing of Sheikh in November 2005, was himself allegedly eliminated in December 2006.
Shah, the former home minister of Gujarat, later filed a discharge application, claiming that the case against him was “politically motivated”.
The Indian Express had first reported on May 15 last year that I-T officials were investigating BBM exchanges between Qureshi and Singh, which allegedly indicated that the two knew each other well and that the businessman had sought the former CBI director’s “help” on behalf of people being probed by the agency.
It was based on these messages, which cover a period between October 2011 and February 2014, that Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi informed the Supreme Court on October 17 last year that Singh’s conduct was “wholly unbecoming of the office he held (as CBI Director).”
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