Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rajnish Rai, against whom the union and state governments recently filed petitions in the Gujarat High Court challenging his voluntary retirement from the police force, has joined one of the most prestigious business schools in the country- the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) as an assistant professor.
According to sources, Rai has already started teaching in the area of Public Systems Group. When contacted, Rai confirmed that he had joined the institute as a faculty member but refused to divulge any further information. Sources in the institute said that he joined last month and has already taken several lectures. Incidentally, Rai had completed a fellow programme management course from the institute.
Sources said that Rai had joined IIM-A for further studies after he was sidelined by the state government following his probe in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. He made the first arrests in the case in 2007 while supervising the case in the state CID (crime). He arrested his then colleagues, including ex IPS officer D G Vanzara, IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian and Rajasthan cadre IPS Dinesh MN among others. Since then, Rai had been at loggerheads with the state government led by the then chief minister Narendra Modi.
The 1992-batch IPS, Rai took Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) on November 30, 2018, after completing 50 years of age. Section 16 (2) of All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement Benefit) Rules, 1958 provides VRS to a government servant who has completed 50 years of age provided he or she is not under suspension. Rai was then 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. Rai approached the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), in Ahmedabad seeking relief that he be treated as retired. In the meanwhile, the central government issued a charge sheet and later suspended him for unauthorisedly handing over charge.
The tribunal ordered the government not to take any action. Subsequently, Rai moved the high court in view of the fact that there was no division bench available in the tribunal. In the high court, his plea stated that the government 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…”
In one of the hearings, the high court told the government lawyers, "Nothing remains to be done in this case in view of provision Section 16 (2) of All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement Benefit) Rules, 1958. The petitioner (Rai) was not under suspension at the time of seeking VRS." The government lawyers, however, sought time to produce "new evidence". The union government is going to file an affidavit next week when the hearing will resume.