Former Kashmir inspector general of police Farooq Ahmad, who was forced to retire after the ministry of home affairs detected "forgery" in his date of birth (DOB), has been asked by the Srinagar high court to resume duties.
"The police officer has brought laurels to the department. The government should have served him notice before issuing the retirement order," said justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar while declaring the previous government retirement order as "void ab-initio."
Ahmad was forced to retire by the home ministry on February 19, 2010 after DIG traffic, Jammu, Kamal Saini approached the ministry for a verification of his date of birth. Saini was also seeking change in his date of birth.
Ahmad's was ordered to retire following a directive by the ministry that the state government had no authority to alter the DOB of the IPS officer as he is governed by the All India Service Rules.
The state government ordered the retirement of Farooq, who was IG security then, and rescinded its own order of 1998 in which Farooq's date of birth was adopted as November 25, 1951 as against his original 05.02.1949. Immediately after the forced retirement, Ahmad approached the high court.
"Farooq shall be deemed to be in service and entitled to all benefits from the time of the issuance of order. The state government shall post the petitioner within one week commensurate with his status and position," said justice Attar in his judgment.
It was Farooq Abdullah-led government in 1998 that had issued orders of change in the date of birth apparently without seeking the concurrence of the MHA.
"The retirement order was issued on a day which was a declared holiday and at 11:30 pm. Its issuance was leaked to only one of the newspapers at Jammu," said Ahmad's lawyer Zafar Shah.
Shah said it was in 1981 when Ahmad made a representation for correction of his date of birth from 1949 to Nov 25, 1951.
"The matter was enquired into by the state authorities for 17 years and on August 13, 1998 Ahmad's date of birth was directed to be recorded as 25-11-1951," said Shah.
Farooq, who was IGP Kashmir at the heightened militant activity, was injured twice in the line of duty.
He was instrumental in investigating and solving the Ganderbal fake encounter in which several senior police officers, including a senior superintendent of police, were arrested.