The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday ordered the removal of the names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former state chief secretary and current State Election Commissioner Varesh Sinha as parties from a petition challenging an order in favour of former IPS officer Rahul Sharma.
The state government had filed the petition against the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) quashing a charge sheet against Sharma in connection with CDs pertaining to the 2002 riots cases. In its petition, the government sought removal of the PM’s and Sinha’s names from the litigation.
In the petition, the state government asked the court to “delete respondent no-3 (Sinha) and 4 (Modi) herein as the only contesting parties in the present proceedings can be said to be respondent no-1 (Rahul Sharma), the original applicant”.
A division bench of Justices M R Shah and A S Supehia said, “It is submitted that even in the proceedings before the learned tribunal, the learned tribunal had not issued any notice to respondents nos-3 and 4 herein. Permission is accordingly granted.”
Sharma, who is now a practising lawyer, was charge sheeted for keeping the CDs — containing geographical locations of the accused in 2002 riots cases and others — with him instead of handing them over to the concerned department or investigating officer. He moved the CAT against the charge sheet in 2011.
The tribunal quashed the charge sheet, stating that the CDs were in Sharma’s custody since 2002 but the state government led by Modi, despite knowing so, did not do anything to get them back. The tribunal also said the action against the former officer was “tainted by mischief” and “coloured by malice and mala fides”.