Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rajnish Rai, who had arrested three IPS officers while investigating the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case in 2007, has been issued suspension orders by the Ministry of Home Affairs for “unauthorised handing over” of the charge of IG & Principal of CRPF’s Counter Insurgency and Anti-Terrorism (CIAT) School in Chittoor, where he was last posted.
Rai received the order “in protest” and claimed it was “illegal and unconstitutional” as he has already retired.
The order, dated December 17, which was accessed by The Indian Express, said “disciplinary proceeding against Shri Rajnish Kumar Rai, IPS (GJ:92) is contemplated in connection with his unauthorised handing over of the charge of IG & Principal, CIAT School, CRPF, Chittoor and abdication of office on 30.1. 2018 (AN).”
Issued by the Directorate General, CRPF, the order also said that during the period of suspension, Rai would have to be in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, and he cannot leave without permission of the DG, CRPF.
Rai received the order with a note, dated December 20, that said, “The order of suspension by the MHA, GOI is absolutely illegal and unconstitutional as I have retired from service as per operation of law and rules after office hours on 30/11/2018.”
Rai’s application for voluntary retirement had not been accepted by the central government. He then quit leaving a note that “he be treated as retired”, and filed an application before Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Ahmedabad, challenging the rejection of his early retirement request.
Rai moved the tribunal after he received an email asking him “to immediately join duties in view of the fact that his application for retirement had not been accepted by the Competent Authority of MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs).”
On December 10, the tribunal issued notice to the central and Gujarat governments to respond to it by January 1, 2019. The same letter was delivered to Rai at his Gandhinagar residence on December 3, which he received after “protest” since the letter had addressed him as Inspector General of Police (IG), CRPF, and not as retired IG.