Agartala: The Gujarat High Court refused to grant an interim relief to IPS officer Rajnish Rai on Wednesday in a case pertaining to his appointment as an associate professor in the IIMA, saying it would hear the government’s arguments first. Rai had sought the relief from the court, saying the Union government had again written to the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIMA) questioning his appointment.
He had sought an interim order to protect his job. A division bench of justices S R Brahmbhatt and A P Thaker, however, said it would hear the government’s arguments first and adjourned the matter to August 5 without passing any order.
Rai’s lawyer Rahul Sharma said the Centre had twice sought an explanation from the IIMA for hiring his client. He also objected to the Centre’s counsel, Nirzar Desai, seeking more time from the court.
Sharma said the government was misleading the court by seeking time while interfering with Rai’s employment by writing to the IIMA and questioning his appointment. A 1992-batch Gujarat-cadre IPS officer, Rai had sought voluntary retirement from the service last year.
He had moved the high court subsequently seeking a direction to the Centre and the Gujarat government not to interfere if he took up a new employment opportunity. In May, while the petition was still pending, Rai was hired by the IIMA as an associate professor. In the meantime, he was suspended by the Union government.
The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development had then written to the prestigious management institute, seeking an explanation for hiring a suspended officer.
Rai, who had investigated the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and arrested senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers D G Vanzara, Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh MN (all discharged subsequently), opted for voluntary retirement in November 2018, when he was serving at the Counter Insurgency and Anti-Terrorism School at Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh.
When the Centre rejected his application for voluntary retirement, Rai moved the high court seeking a direction that he be treated as retired and allowed to take up other employment opportunities.