Satish Chandra Verma, an officer of the Indian Police Services who was part of the investigations into the Ishrat Jahan case, has approached the Supreme Court after he was dismissed from service on August 30.
Verma was dismissed from his services a month before he was supposed to retire on September 30, NDTV reported.
Verma was posed as the director of a CRPF training school in Coimbatore.
What has Satish Verma been accused of?
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has dismissed Verma over an interview with India Today in 2016 where he made remarks about the Ishrat Jahan case. Verma's dismissal, just 30 days before retirement, will mean that he will not be eligible for post-retirement benefits. Verma did the interview when he was Chief Vigilance Officer of Northeastern Electrical Power Corporation (NEEPCO). The Hindu reports that the MHA has accused him of misusing the NEEPCO premises during the interview.
Verma had said during the interview that he does not think Ishrat Jahan was a terrorist. Verma also made remarks about RVS Mani who had accused the SIT of burning him with cigarette butts during the investigation. According to the report in The Hindu, the MHA had accused Verma of directly communicating "official information regarding interrogation of R.V.S. Mani" without a special order from the government.
What is the court case?
The Delhi High Court, where Verma faced disciplinary proceedings, allowed his dismissal based on a charge sheet filed by the MHA in 2018. He also faces another charge sheet from 2018 and one more from 2016. NDTV reported that he has till September 19 to use his legal options.
The Indian Express quoted Verma's lawyer Sarim Naved as saying, "We have only until 19th. We hope for a date (of hearing) on the 16th or 19th (of September)".
The newspaper reported that Verma has told the Supreme Court that high court order was passed without notice to him.
What is the Ishrat Jahan case?
Officers of the Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch including then deputy commissioner of police DG Vanzara, who is now retired, shot and killed 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana in an alleged encounter on Ahmedabad. The police claimed that they acted on the intelligence inputs that they were plotting to kill Narendra Modi, the Gujarat chief minister at the time.
The Ahmedabad police had alleged that Zeeshan and Amjad were Pakistanis. The Gujarat government had claimed that the four were linked to the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiban. Jahan was a BSc student at Mumbai's Khalsa college and live with her family in Mumbra.
In 2009, Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate SP Tamang had ruled that the killing of Ishrat Jahan and three others was a "fake encounter". In 2010, the Supreme Court had ordered the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT), headed by RK Raghavan, to probe the case. However, Raghavan expressed an inability to investigate the case as it was also probing incidents during the 2002 Gujarat riots. Another SIT was set up in 2010. Satish Verma was among the three people in the SIT that probed the case.
In 2011, Verma who was Ahmedabad's joint commissioner of police filed an affidavit in the Gujarat high court saying that "early evidence" showed that Jahan was wrongly killed and the encounter was fake.
In 2013, a charge sheet filed by the CBI said that the Intelligence Bureau and the Ahmedabad police plotted to kill Jahan. It named officers like special director Rajinder Kumar, assistant director (Ahmedabad) MK Sinha, deputy superintendent of police Rajeev Wankhede and P Mittal. It stated that the four who were killed were first allegedly abducted and then killed.
DG Vanzara was given post-retirement promotion as the inspector general of police (IGP) by the Gujarat government in 2020. He got out on bail in the Ishrat Jahan case in 2015. He was also an accused in the alleged Shohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case. Pandey also got bail in the same year.
While PP Pandey was discharged in 2018, Vanzara was discharged in 2019.
In April 2021, IPS GL Singhal, retired police officer Tarun Barot and ASI Anaju Chaudhary, the last of the accused in the case were discharged by a special CBI court.
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