Ahmedabad/New Delhi: Gujarat cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Satish Chandra Verma has moved the Supreme Court against his dismissal by the Ministry of Home Affairs on August 30, a month before his superannuation. Verma assisted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter of 2004. The dismissal came to the fore only when Verma approached the top court on Tuesday.
On September 7, the Gujarat High Court allowed Varma’s dismissal by the Centre, but protected him till September 19, to enable him to use his legal options. The 1986-batch officer is currently posted as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Coimbatore. The dismissal means he is not entitled to any pension or benefits.
After joining the CBI team to probe the encounter in which 19-year-old Jahan and three others were killed, Verma was at loggerheads with the Gujarat government during the chief ministership of Narendra Modi, in which Amit Shah was a junior minister.
The CBI filed a chargesheet against eight police officers, including PP Pandey, DG Vanzara, GL Singhal, NK Amin and Tarun Barot, all considered pro-regime, but the case didn’t go on trial as the Gujarat government refused the requisite permission mandatory for the Central agencies to prosecute the serving government servants.
The main accusation levelled against Verma was “talking to the media in a way that hurt the country’s relations with other countries”. He was later denied promotion by the state government in 2010-2011. Originally hailing from Bihar, Verma is an IITian from Delhi and holds a Master’s degree in business administration from IIM-Ahmedabad.
Verma was shunted out as the chief vigilance officer of the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) after he discovered large-scale irregularities in a hydro power project in Arunachal Pradesh and named the then Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju, the Union law minister now, as well as his relatives and officers of the department. He was transferred to the CRPF in Tripura as IGP and then to Coimbatore.
In 2014, Verma said in a petition against his abrupt transfer that his investigation into the Ishrat case was the reason why he was being consequently targeted since 2010.
The state and Central governments had also denied him permission to travel abroad, ordered to evict his official residence in Ahmedabad despite the entitlement of two official residences for officers posted in the North Eastern states.
In 2018, Verma had challenged the Ministry of Home Affairs’ chargesheet against him, alleging that he is being victimised for “bringing to light the underlying ugly truth of the criminal conspiracy involving the high and mighty in both the Gujarat state and the Central government”.