The Supreme Court on Monday put a stay for one week on the dismissal order of Indian Police Service officer (Gujarat cadre) Satish Chandra Verma, who was part of the investigation team in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, reported Bar and Bench.
Last week, Verma had moved the Supreme Court, challenging the dismissal order issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on August 30, a month before his retirement on September 30. The implementation of dismissal order would deprive Verma of pension and post-retirement benefits.
The Delhi High Court has been hearing Verma’s petition against a chargesheet issued to him in September 2021 that had allowed a disciplinary authority set up by the home ministry to go ahead with his dismissal.
At Monday’s hearing, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy said that Verma can amend his petition before the Delhi High Court or challenge the dismissal order in the Central Administrative Tribunal, reported Live Law.
The judges also said that the Delhi High Court would decide whether to extend the stay on the dismissal order beyond one week.
The Union home ministry headed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Amit Shah had told the High Court on September 6 that the disciplinary authority decided to dismiss Verma from service after a departmental inquiry proved the charges against him.
The dismissal order stated that Verma had been “talking to the media which dented the country’s international relations”.
While agreeing to implement the dismissal order, the Delhi High Court on September 7 also deferred the implementation till September 19 to allow Verma to seek legal remedies. The High Court has listed the next hearing of the case to January 2023, reported Live Law.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Verma, told the Supreme Court on Monday that the listing of the matter to such a later date would make his petition infructuous since his retirement date is September 30.
“I can’t argue here also,” Sibal said. “Either you transfer the High Court petition and hear it or [direct] High Court to prepone the hearing.”
Verma was part of the Gujarat High Court-appointed Special Investigation Team that had concluded in 2011 that 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan along with Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in a staged encounter with security forces on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.
Shah was the home minister of Gujarat when the fake encounter took place.