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Centre allows Gujarat to act against retired IPS officer who spoke up on 2002 riots

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 30 May 2016, 8:44 IST

The Centre has approved a request by Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel to restart disciplinary proceedings against retired IPS officer Rahul Sharma, who has often been pitted against the state administration. The Gujarat home department wants to initiate action against Sharma for not replying to its showcause notices on various minor offences.

Sharma took voluntary retirement last year and is now a practicing lawyer. The All India Service Conduct rules say that state governments need the permission of the Ministry of Home Affairs to initiate action over any offence committed by an IPS officer within four years of retirement, according to The Economic Times.

Sharma had deposed before the Nanavati Commission set up to inquire into the 2002 riots in Gujarat. He had been posted as SP of Bhavnagar at the time, and is said to have saved many people, including children trapped in a madrasa.

His deposition before the commission included CDs that contained records collected during the riots. Sharma was punished for speaking out against the state government after his deposition. In 2011, the Gujarat government chargesheeted him over the missing CDs that contained mobile phone data.

Then a DIG, Sharma challenged the chargesheet in the Central Appellate Tribunal, which quashed the case last year, ruling it "illegal, coloured by arbitrariness, tainted by mischief and malice as the actual result of suppression of the mobile tracking records in the CD is to benefit the actual perpetrators."

After the CAT verdict, the state government withdrew several showcause notices against Sharma. He applied for premature retirement from the IPS in November 2014, which the state government accepted in February 2015.

However, the Gujarat home department is still keen to prosecute Sharma for any offence, said a source.

First published: 30 May 2016, 8:44 IST