The Rajasthan government's move to reinstate a suspended top cop against the rulebook has left many to doubt the intentions of the political leadership.
The man in question is IPS officer Rajesh Meena, who was suspended after his arrest by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) on January 2, 2013 while he was superintendent of police (SP) of Ajmer. The charges against him were that he extorted money through a middle man from police stations under his jurisdiction. He spent a year in jail and was later released on bail on January 10, 2014.
The government revoked his suspension on December 12, 2014 despite the fact that the ACB had filed a fresh disproportionate assets (DA) case against him in the same month.
According to a government rule, a committee headed by the chief secretary meets every six months to review such suspension cases of all Indian government service officers.
The panel can take up such cases if the officer has spent a term of three years under suspension and at least one year has elapsed since the filing of the charge sheet against him. But, in the case of Rajesh Meena, the suspension was revoked even when he had spent a little less than two years under suspension.
The ACB filed three chargesheets against Meena and his accomplices on March 1, 2013. However, the government defended the revocation.
A member of the review committee told HT on condition of anonymity that it was all right to review a suspension after the charges against the officer had been framed and prosecution started in the trial court.
Not only this, the review committee also overlooked a disproportionate assets case filed by the ACB against Meena in December last year.
ACB sources said a copy of this FIR was sent to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) since it is the cadre controlling authority but this fact was not pointed out to the review committee.
The DoPT secretary refused to comment on the issue.