Sohrabuddin Encounter: Top Cop in Case Seeks Voluntary Retirement
Rajnish Rai, a Gujarat cadre 1992-batch IPS officer probing the infamous Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, has opted for voluntary retirement. Choosing to quit, Rai left a note saying that “he be treated as retired”, The Indian Express reported.
Rai also filed a petition before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in Ahmedabad, to challenge the centre’s decision to reject his request for a voluntary retirement, following which CAT issued notices to both the centre and the Gujarat government, asking them to file their responses by 1 January, 2019.
Rai claimed that he had filed the decision in the Tribunal, after he received a response via 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 Ministry of Home Affairs,” the report added.
Who is Rajnish Rai?
Rai was originally posted as a vigilance officer at Uranium Corporation of India Limited in Jharkhand and had reportedly put across a report highlighting the alleged corruption in the corporation and had even advised on criminal cases being registered against several senior officers, The Indian Express reported. In this case, he had even been charge-sheeted by the government, which stated that he had acted “without due approval from the competent authority.”
Following this, he was stationed in Shillong, where he had filed a report on “a suspected fake encounter during a joint counter insurgency operation of security forces”, in which two people being called insurgents, were killed in Assam.
After this, Rai was transferred to Chittoor in 2017.
Opting For Voluntary Retirement
Rai had filed an application on 23 August, 2018, seeking early retirement under the government’s Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), which allows officers to seek retirement from service after they complete 50 years of his age, as long as they haven’t been suspended, the report claimed.
The government did not respond. After Rai sent a reminder in October, he finally received a response from the former, rejecting his application, as it said that he was not “clear from the vigilance angle”.
A month later, in November, Rai wrote to the Secretary (MHA), saying:
“He has relinquished charge as the IG, CIAT, Chittoor from 30.11.2018 after office hours and requested that he be treated as having retired from service with effect from 30.11.2018, after office hours in view of the existing rules and law in this regard”.Part of Rai’s letter to Secretary (MHA), as reported by The Indian Express
Rai, the supervising officer in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, was the one who made the first three arrests in the same. These included the arrests of three IPS officers- D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian and Rajasthan cadre officer Dinesh M N.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)