Tuesday, January 13, 2015

CAT rejects Ishrat encounter investigator's plea against transfer

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), New Delhi, on Monday turned down the petition of IPS officer Satish Verma against his posting on deputation as chief vigilance officer (CVO) to North-Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) in Shillong.

However, the CAT bench of justices Syed Rafat Alam and BK Sinha granted some relief to IPS Rajnish Rai who has been posted as CVO in Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL), Jaguguda in Jharkhand. The bench directed the Gujarat government and the central government to consider his request to post him in Delhi or Mumbai or at a place where his wife, IAS officer Vatsala Vasudev, can also be posted as joint secretary. The bench gave Gujarat government three months to consider Rai's request for another posting.

However, the bench severely criticized Verma for seeking transfer but objecting when posted in the north-eastern state. In its order, the bench said IAS and IPS officers were often required to forgo many things for the sake of duty. What would become of the administration if officers placed their self-interest above the call of duty, the bench asked.

Rai was denied govt nod to join IIM as professor

"Here, it is only a question of serving in Shillong instead of Delhi or Mumbai," the CAT bench said while rejecting Verma's plea against his current posting.

In its order on Rai's petition, the CAT bench said that the petitioner deserves judicial relief. But as he has already joined at his current place of posting, the Gujarat government and the central government should consider his request expeditiously, preferably within three months.

Both the officers - IGP Verma and DIG Rai were posted as CVOs of different public sector units last year in Meghalaya and Jharkhand, respectively. They had challenged their postings before CAT at New Delhi by claiming that the Gujarat government's intention was mala fide because of their aggressive investigation of fake encounter cases.

Rai's investigation of the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and Verma's investigation of the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case had led to the arrest of several police officers, most of whom were from Gujarat. The downgrading of their ACRs was also cited as victimization but CAT did not accept this as mala fide.

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