Steering clear of the controversy over constitution of Special Investigation Team, set up to investigate the alleged fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan and others in Gujarat, the Union Home Ministry on Tuesday clarified that the medical condition of J. V. Ramudu, an IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre of 1981 batch was not known to it while including him in the three-member panel.

The Gujarat High Court had asked the Home Ministry for a panel of three names in place of a member of the SIT who had expressed his request to be relieved from the panel. Accordingly, the Ministry in consultation with the concerned State governments had indicated a panel of officers including J.V. Ramudu who was placed at second place in an earlier list. His name had been approved by the High Court on July 15.

It was after indicating the fresh panel of names including Mr. Ramudu to the Gujarat High Court that the Home Ministry was informed by the Andhra Pradesh government on July 17 about the fact that the officer had undergone surgery and required post-operative check-ups. His inability to be a part of SIT on medical grounds was communicated to the Gujarat High Court.

“The medical condition of Mr. Ramudu was brought to the notice of the Ministry of Home Affairs only after his name had been approved by the High Court and Home Ministry had to approach the Hon'ble High Court to nominate another officer from a fresh panel of three names, which has since been accepted by the High Court. Neither the Andhra Pradesh government nor the officer himself had brought to the notice of MHA the inability of the officer to be a part of SIT, although his name had been indicated in the High Court's order in May, 2011,'' the Home Ministry said in a statement.