The Ministry of Home Affairs has suspended Gujarat-cadre Indian Police Service officer Rajnish Rai, who had arrested three police officers while investigating the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case in 2007. In an order dated December 17, the ministry suspended Rai for “unauthorised handing over” of the charge of inspector general and principal of the Central Reserve Police Force’s Counter Insurgency and Anti-Terrorism School in Chittoor, The Indian Express reported.

The order, which The Indian Express said it has accessed, said that disciplinary proceedings are being contemplated against Rai. The Directorate General of the Central Reserve Police Force, which issued the order, said Rai will have to stay in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, during the period of suspension and cannot leave without the permission of the directorate general.

Rai had applied for voluntary retirement in August this year, citing personal reasons, and gave a notice of three months, The Times of India reported. However, his application was rejected. The police officer then left a note saying he be “treated as retired” and moved the Central Administrative Tribunal in Ahmedabad, challenging the Centre’s refusal to grant him retirement.

“No permission is required for retirement, and once I retire, how can I be suspended?” Rai told The Times of India, from Gandhinagar. “There are many officers who left in similar circumstances but were not suspended.” The police officer said his lawyer Rahul Sharma would comment further on the suspension.

Sharma told the daily that Rai, who is 53 years old, does not require permission to avail of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme, as under the law, a government official above 50 years of age does not need such permission. The advocate added that Rai’s notice period ended on November 23.