Nearly four months after he quit the job, IPS officer Rajnish Rai continues to fight the legal battle with the Union as well as state government.
Rai, known for probing Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case and arresting a dozen accused including three IPS colleagues, has now approached Gujarat High Court over the issue of his voluntary retirement which has not been accepted by the Union government and has been put under suspension.
Rai has moved high court seeking relief that respondent governments be directed “not to interfere, directly or indirectly, with any application made by the applicant for employment to any organization/institution or any other body and further allow him to take up any employment, profession or occupation that he may choose to earn his livelihood…”
He has sought relief that government should maintain status quo on the issue of his proceeding on voluntary retirement and not to take any coercive action against him on this issue. Rai has also sought retirement benefits. He has requested the court to direct the government “to put the sum payable to the applicant by way of gratuity into a fixed deposit account in a bank of the choice of the applicant till the pendency of this petition.”
The 1992-batch IPS Rai proceeded on voluntary retirement on November 30, 2018. Rai sought Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) after completing 50 years of age under the provision of All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement Benefit) Rules, 1958. Under section 16 (2) of the rule, after completion of 50 years of age one can proceed on VRS, provided he or she is not under suspension.
Rai was posted as Inspector General, Counter Insurgency and Anti-Terrorism School, CRPF in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. After he quit the job, the Union government responded that his application has been rejected and that he should join his duty.
This led Rai to approach Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Ahmedabad which issued notice to state and Union government that while seeking relief he be treated as retired. In the meanwhile, the central government issued a charge sheet and later suspended him for unauthorised handing over the charge.
The tribunal ordered the government not to take any action. Rai moved high court in view of the fact that there is no division bench available in the tribunal. He has said that if relief is not granted to him, "he would be driven to great and irreversible financial hardship and mental stress."
Rai was posted in Chittoor in 2017 following his report on a suspected fake encounter during a joint counter-insurgency operation in Assam in which two alleged insurgents were killed.
Earlier in 2007, as a supervising officer with Gujarat CID (crime), which was probing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kauser Bi and Tulsiram Prajapti encounter cases, Rai has made first arrests in the case that included IPS officers D G Vanara, Rajkumar Pandian and Rajasthan cadre IPS officer Dinesh MN.