Gujarat cop vindicated as CAT upholds petition
NDTV Correspondent, Thursday, March 1, 2007 (Ahmedabad):
The police officer who had accused the Modi government in Gujarat of superseding him in 2005 for criticising the government's handling of the 2002 Gujarat riots has won vindication.
The Central Administrative Tribunal has upheld R B Sreekumar's petition and directed the government to start the process of promoting him. He retired on Wednesday as Additional DG, Police Reforms.
Ironically, the order came on Wednesday, the day Sreekumar retired as the Additional director general of police.
If the Narendra Modi government does not challenge the order the former intelligence chief could get benefits from the day he was passed over for a promotion.
In February 2005, Sreekumar was superseded by junior officers and he complained to the CAT that he was being punished for not toeing the government's line.
The tribunal's order has come as a moral victory.
"I fought against the might of the state. Still its delayed but not delayed to me. This is one stage of success. There may be more stages of struggle but I will continue the struggle," he said.
The government had argued before the CAT that the order for Sreekumar's promotion had been kept in a sealed cover as a criminal case was pending against him.
Mishandling of riots
But Sreekumar said the sealed cover had no validity as no charges had been framed against him and the court agreed with his plea.
"So now the government will have to open the cover and start the process," said Deepa Sreekumar, Advocate.
Sreekumar was the head of state Intelligence Bureau in the initial stages of the post-Godhra riots.
Later, he spoke out against the government's alleged mishandling of the riots and even submitted four affidavits before the Nanavati Shah commission claiming there was pressure on him to go easy on the rioters.
Whether the state government will challenge the order in the high court is not clear.
Understandably, the Narendra Modi government is silent on the issue given the fact that Sreekumar's strong stand had put the entire state machinery in the dock for its inept handling of the riots.