Downgrading of Gujarat IPS officer's ACR quashed

Arrests made by Rajnish Rai in Sohrabuddin case had irked Modi government

Published - April 22, 2011 10:21 pm IST - AHMEDABAD:

In yet another rebuff to the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Wednesday stayed the downgrading of the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) of Rajnish Rai, another senior IPS officer who had reportedly declined to follow the government's line and incurred its displeasure.

The principal Bench of the CAT, earlier this month, quashed the downgrading of the ACR of IPS officer Kuldip Sharma, who had irked the Modi government allegedly for “helping” the CBI in the investigation into the Sohrabuddin-Kausarbi murder case.

Mr. Rai, a 1992 batch IPS officer, had rubbed the Modi Government on the wrong side by placing under arrest top IPS officers, D.G. Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian — both of the Gujarat cadre — and Dinesh Kumar M.N. of the Rajasthan cadre, in connection with the case.

On April 24, 2007, he had them arrested after having summoned them on the pretext of questioning. Four years later, the IPS officers are still in jail.

The case was initially given to another senior IPS officer, Geetha Johri. But after she implicated the three senior IPS officers, finding it to be a case of fake encounter, the investigation was handed over to Mr. Rai, as he was a close friend of Mr. Pandian. To the chagrin of the department, however, Mr. Rai had the trio arrested within a week of his taking over the case. He had kept his seniors in the dark about the drastic action. Even as he made a bid to conduct a narco-analysis test on them, he was shunted out of the investigation and posted to the State Crime Records Bureau, and the investigation was handed back to Ms. Johri. In 2008, Mr. Rai was posted as the principal of the State Reserve Police Training School in Junagadh.

Mr. Rai was also implicated in a cheating case as he was taking LL.B. examinations as an external candidate of the Gujarat University. He challenged the University's decision to declare him as a “failed” candidate in the High Court; the court quashed the university's order.

He had moved the CAT earlier this month against the downgrading of his ACR by the government.

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