Sunday, May 19, 2024

Supreme Court refuses to stay dismissal of Gujarat IPS officer SC Verma by Centre, tells Delhi HC to expedite hearing of plea

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to interfere with the decision of the Government of India, dismissing Gujarat cadre IPS officer Satish Chandra Verma from service. 

The Bench of Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice Hrishikesh Roy, while noting that the verdict passed by the Delhi High Court, refusing to stay Verma’s dismissal was an interim order, said that it was not inclined to interfere with the same. 

The top court of the country, however, directed the High Court to list the writ petition 10539/2021 before November 22. The High Court was further directed to complete the pleadings before November 22 and dispose of the matter as early as possible.

However, the Apex Court clarified that it had not expressed anything on the merits of the case.

The lawyer representing Verma apprised the Apex Court that the High Court had relied on an unproven transcript and the CD. 

Justice Joseph told the lawyer that he had been presented with a ‘fait accompli’.

The matter was mentioned for urgent listing on Tuesday. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had informed the Bench that another officer had been appointed at the place of Verma after his dismissal. 

Verma’s lawyer contended that he has put in 38 years of service. He should at least be permitted to leave honourably. He urged the Apex Court to extend the stay and let the High Court decide on the matter.

While refusing interim relief to Verma, the High Court had posted the matter to January 24 for hearing. Verma had assisted the Gujarat HC-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the probe of Ishrat Jahan encounter case of 2003. 

While the IPS officer was due to retire on September 30, the Ministry of Home Affairs dismissed him on August 30. The Ministry had cited Verma’s statements given to the media as one of the grounds for dismissal. 

The IPS officer had termed called the killing of Ishrat Jahan as a ‘premeditated murder’ during an interview to a leading English daily in 2016. He had also talked about the interrogation of R.V.S. Mani, former Under Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Verma, who was posted as Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) then, was removed from the post.

Disciplinary proceedings were also initiated against him in 2016. 

The Supreme Court, on September 19, had kept in abeyance for a week, Verma’s dismissal order and left it to the High Court to consider whether to continue the stay or not. 

The Division Bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela of the Delhi High Court had refused to stay the dismissal on September 26. 


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