Centre’s go Ahead to Gujarat Government to go after Retired IPS Officer, Rahul Sharma, Yet Again

Rahul Sharma: IPS officer turned lawyer

The Union home ministry has approved a request by the Gujarat chief minister to restart disciplinary proceedings against an outstanding IPS officer of the Gujarat cadre, Rahul Sharma, who in sheer disgust took voluntary retirement last year and is now a practicing lawyer in Gujarat. The state government is bent on initiating punitive measures against Sharma for allegedly not responding to show cause notices issued to him on petty grounds.

When contacted for his comments, Sharma told Sabrang India that he had not yet received any communication from the government. In any case if reports in a section of the media are true, it pertains to a minor matter, he said, adding, “I will fight it out”.

The latest petty move against Sharma is one more example of what is often said about Modi: he never forgets, he never forgives.

Ever since former Gujarat chief (and home) minister Narendra Modi moved to Delhi in 2015 to occupy the PM’s chair, the Union home ministry and the Gujarat government seem to be acting in perfect sync. At least this is so when it comes to vindictive action against all those, including police officers, who did not see the state-sponsored 2002 communal carnage in Gujarat through Modi’s eyes.

The latest petty move against Sharma is one more example of what is often said about Modi: he never forgets, he never forgives.

Either an effective communication channel is in place between the PMO and the Union home ministry, or the bosses in the latter ministry are very good at reading the PM’s mind. PM Modi does not seem to have forgotten Sharma who, to the great annoyance of Modi and his sangh parivar, insisted on behaving as a loyal upholder of the Indian Constitution instead of acting at the behest of the political masters. How then can the Gujarat government forget Sharma?

On January 28, 2016, disregarding a severe reprimand from the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) five days earlier quashing the charge sheet filed by the Gujarat state home department against Sharma as “tainted by mischief” and “coloured by malafide”, the home department had issued a fresh show cause notice to him asking him to explain why action should not be taken against him for making “unnecessary” payment of a little over Rs 3,000 to his driver and gunman while in service.

Sharma was charge sheeted in January 2011, while the investigations into the Zakia Jafri case were still being conducted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), soon after he had met the Amicus Curaiae, Raju Ramachandran. The Zakia Jafri criminal complaint seeks to prosecute those in positions of power, politically and administratively, for acts of commission and omission in the handling of the violence in 2002. The matter is presently being heard in the Gujarat High Court.

As reported by Sabrang India, in their speaking order delivered by Dr KB Suresh and KN Shrivastava of CAT had declared that the charge sheet against Sharma “is tainted by mischief, mala fides and malice and coloured by arbitrariness, illegality and designed to defeat proximate and pertinent matters blessed by constitutional compulsion and designed as an engine of oppression”. The motive behind the issuance of the charge sheet was to suppress the mobile tracking records in the CD which in turn was to benefit the actual perpetrators of brutal and violent crimes through which hundreds of innocents died a needless and violent death. The full text of the CAT order may be read here.

What obviously riled the Gujarat government (and the Union home ministry) is the fact that early this month, the Gujarat High Court directed the state government to respond to a PIL filed by retired ‘supercop’ Julio Ribeiro challenging the government’s decision to appoint as the acting head of the state police, PP Pandey who following a High Court appointed investigation had only a fortnight earlier been charge-sheeted by the CBI for offences under the Arms Act and for offences of abduction, wrongful confinement, and premeditated murder of four persons.

The lawyer who argued Ribeiro’s PIL was none other than Rahul Sharma.




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