The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Haryana director general of police (DGP) to form a special investigation team (SIT) to re-probe a case involving Sanjiv Chaturvedi, a Haryana-cadre Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, and a senior cop over a forest range officer’s death in 2009. Chaturvedi is currently on central deputation at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.
The directions came on the petition by Ram Pal Tomar, father of Sanjiv Tomar, a forest range officer who had allegedly committed suicide in December 2009. In the suicide note reportedly recovered, he had named Chaturvedi. Tomar was one of many officials suspended in Jhajjar over a scam that was reportedly exposed by Chaturvedi when he was divisional forest officer there in 2009.
His father alleged that Chaturvedi had murdered him; and also named a woman, Parmila, and senior police officer Balwan Singh Rana as being involved. He approached the high court seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or any other independent agency.
The bench of justice K Kannan said in its order on Wednesday, without naming Chaturvedi or Rana: “Under the normal circumstances, I would have allowed for the petitioner to file a protest petition before the magistrate and secure fresh directions for an appropriate inquiry for the leads provided by the petitioner. But I see some merit in the contention made that petitioner’s suspicion was the involvement of the petitioner’s son’s superior officials.”
The DGP has been directed to form the SIT headed by an officer of the rank of deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and consisting of two other officials for a relook into the entire matter. It has to “preferably” give its report within six months to the jurisdictional magistrate.
Ram Pal had filed a complaint in 2009, which was turned into an FIR in 2010 that named Chaturvedi over alleged abetment of suicide. In 2012, and later in 2014, the police concluded that no proof could be found against Chaturvedi.
Meanwhile, in 2012 the father wrote to the HC that his son had been murdered. He raised doubts over the authenticity of the suicide note, and also suspected the role of Parmila, the woman with whom his son was living at the time of his death, besides Rana, who was a DSP at the time and has since been elevated to the Indian Police Service (IPS).
Chaturvedi was DFO at Jhajjar from January to August 2009. Tomar was suspended in a plantation scam, one of many such scandals exposed by Chaturvedi in the Haryana forest department. After controversies, he moved to central deputation. Even at that time, in 2012, the Haryana government had tried to stall his central deputation in the wake of the Jhajjar FIR.
More recently, in October 2014, Chaturvedi was removed as chief vigilance officer of AIIMS by the health ministry, which resulted in a controversy as several quarters had termed the move as a whistleblower being targeted by the government for exposing corruption. He is now holding charge as deputy director at AIIMS.