MHRD objects to IIMA appointing IPS officer as prof

The Gujarat High Court. File photo

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has objected to the appointment of Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rajnish Rai as an assistant professor in the country's premier business school - Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIMA).

The MHRD has raised an objection on the ground that the IPS officer is under suspension. The Gujarat High Court, on the other hand, has slammed the central government for interfering with an independent institute.

This development came to fore in the division bench of Gujarat High Court, which is hearing Rai's petition, asking the court to direct union and state government not to interfere in case he gets a new job.

Rai's lawyer Rahul Sharma, informed the court that MHRD has written to the IIMA, asking why has it hired Rai despite him being under suspension.

Rai, better known as the officer who made first arrests in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, has stated in the petition that government should “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…”

While Rai's petition remains pending in the court since March, IIMA appointed Rai as an assistant professor in May. During a brief hearing on Tuesday, the division bench of the high court, led by Justice S R Brahmbhatt slammed the MHRD for objecting to such an appointment and had written a letter stating that the IIMA is an autonomous institution.

The bench orally held that writing such letter amounts to interference. 

Earlier too, the bench had criticised the government for not letting the IPS officer proceed on voluntary retirement despite fulfilling the criteria in accordance with the law.

A 1992-batch IPS officer, Rai took Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) on November 30, 2018, after completing 50 years of age. 

After he left the job, the union government responded that his application has been rejected and that he should return to duty. Rai then approached Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Ahmedabad and then the high court, 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 the charge. 

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