IG promotions: Rahul Sharma ignored over his role in two probes into ’02 riots

The state government said that IPS officer Rahul Sharma was superseded in the promotions announced on Monday because of two on-going inquiries against him. Other 1992 batch officers, including Sharma's colleague and friend Rajnish Rai, were promoted to the IG rank. Sharma is posted as DIG (Armed Units) in Vadodara. Additional Chief Secretary (Home) S K Nanda said, "The inquiry proceedings are going on against him so his case is put in a sealed cover."

Sharma had, in 2004, submitted two CDs containing call logs of two cellphone firms, during the 2002 Gujarat riots as evidence he had collected when assisting the probes in the Naroda Patiya and Gulberg Society massacre cases. Sharma had filed a detailed rejoinder before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in February this year, challenging the allegation that there was mala fide intention behind his submitting the CDs containing call records of the 2002 riots period to the Nanavati Shah Commission. The CAT had reserved the order in March.

Rai, who had arrested IPS officers D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh M N in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, had also fought a battle in CAT, challenging the negative remarks in his annual confidential report which delayed his promotion. The government, however, expunged those remarks purportedly to avoid details of his scathing affidavit coming out before CAT. The affidavit had brought out the dubious role of former Minister of State for Home Amit Shah in connection with the fake encounter case. Sharma, who was issued a chargesheet in 2011, had contended that he was being victimised for deposing before the Nanavati Commission, which is probing the riots.

Even as Sharma sought immunity under Section 6 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, which safeguards witnesses from civil and criminal proceedings, the government, in its affidavit filed on January 3, tried to delink the chargesheet from Sharma's act of submitting the CDs and argued that the chargesheet cannot amount to either a civil or criminal proceeding. It was also the government's case that Sharma "volunteered" to give the CDs to the commission with mala fide intention to save himself from any criminal or civil action.

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