In less than one year, the special investigation team (SIT) probing the alleged fake encounter death of Mumbra girl Ishrat Jahan and three others has got its fourth chief.
The Gujarat high court on Tuesday appointed CISF additional director general RR Verma, an IPS officer of the Bihar cadre, for the job. Previously Karnail Singh, Satyapal Singh and JV Ramudu had opted out of the probe panel, citing their own reasons.
The SIT also includes Mohan Jha and Satish Verma, both IPS officers of the Gujarat cadre.
RR Verma's appointment came after Andhra Pradesh cadre IPS officer JV Ramudu declined to take up the assignment on health grounds. He also alleged he had not been consulted for the job.
The division bench of justice Jayant Patel and justice Abhilasha Kumari criticised the Union home ministry for "recommending the IPS officers without taking their prior consent".
However, in a statement released within hours of the high court hearing, the home ministry said it had included Ramudu's name after consultations with the state governments concerned.
"Neither the state government of Andhra Pradesh nor the officer himself had brought to the notice of MHA the inability of the officer to be a part of SIT, although his name had been indicated in the High Court's order in May, 2011," the home ministry statement said, adding it was informed about the officer's health problems only after his name had been communicated to the high court.
Ramudu had been chosen to replace Maharashtra cadre IPS officer Satyapal Singh, who had also expressed inability to take up the job owing to a number of factors such as irreconcilable differences between Satish Verma and Jha.
Karnail Singh was relieved after he was transferred to Mizoram.
With inputs from New Delhi bureau