Officer who probed Ishrat Jahan case dismissed, moves Supreme Court

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Satish Chandra Verma, a senior IPS officer who had assisted the CBI in its investigation into the alleged fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan in Gujarat, has approached the Supreme Court challenging the Union home ministry's decision, taken on August 30, to dismiss him a month before his scheduled retirement on September 30.

Verma, a 1986 batch Gujarat cadre officer, moved the SC after the Delhi judicature allowed the house ministry to require action against him within the wake of a departmental inquiry that proved the costs against him, including interacting "with public media" when he was chief vigilance officer of the North Eastern electrical power Corporation, Shillong. 

While passing its final order, the HC had on August 30 said the disciplinary proceedings against Verma shouldn't be implemented without the court's permission if prejudicial to him.

Following this order, the central government again moved the HC seeking its permission to impose the disciplinary action to dismiss Verma from service. Permitting the Centre to implement the order, a division bench of the HC said, "It is directed that the order shall not be implemented till September 19, 2022, to enable the petitioner to avail of his remedies in accordance with law against the order of dismissal." 

Verma is currently posted with the CRPF in Coimbatore. If his dismissal comes into effect, he won't be entitled to pension and other benefits.

Verma had probed the Ishrat Jahan case between April 2010 and October 2011. The Gujarat HC later handed over the investigation to the CBI but Verma continued to be a part of the probe team on court orders. The probe led to the arrest of six Gujarat cops, including IPS officers P P Pande, D G Vanzara, G L Singhal and N K Amin. A CBI chargesheet also named four Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau officials, including the then joint director, Rajinder Kumar. All the cops were later discharged from the case.

Verma then faced trouble over an alleged encounter in 1996-97 in Porbandar district, where he was a police superintendent at the time. A fresh inquiry ordered by the Gujarat HC in April 2012 indicted him in three deaths — Jashu Gagan Shial and Aher Ranmal Ram were killed in police encounters, while a 3rd person, Aher Narayan Jesti Bandhiya, was found hanging from a tree beside a station while he was in police custody. Verma unsuccessfully requested the HC to recall the inquiry order. 

With a replacement government coming in at the Centre in 2014, Verma was posted to the North Eastern wattage Corporation (NEEPCO), where he reported alleged financial irregularities. He was served with a notice for alleged misconduct and unauthorised absence and his tenure with NEEPCO was curtailed by a year. After he was served with a chargesheet, Verma approached the Central Administrative Tribunal, Guwahati bench, and later approached the Delhi supreme court.