The man who dragged Union Minister for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju into the alleged Rs 450 crore scam at the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited's 600 MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project, Gujarat cadre IPS officer Satish Verma, is no stranger to controversies.
Verma, as chief vigilance officer of the Neepco, had prepared a 129-page report of the ongoing irregularities in the power project. The officer now serves as an inspector-general in the Central Reserved Police Force in Tripura.
According to a report in The Economic Times, Verma as one of the three members of the Gujarat High Court-appointed SIT to probe the Ishrat Jahan encounter differed with his fellow panelists and doubted if the 19-year-old girl shot down by cops in an alleged gunfight was at all a Lashkar-e-Taiba cadre.
The 1986-batch officer doesn't share an enviable relationship with the Gujarat government and was even charged in January 2015 for prolonged absence from duty as the principal of Police Training College in Junagadh, a report in the DNA said.
Although the officer was granted Central deputation on request, he was apparently unhappy with his posting as the CVO at Neepco headquarters in Shillong. According to the DNA, the Central Administrative Tribunal, which he had approached seeking reprieve, refused to entertain his plea for a better posting.
His tenure in Neepco was cut short and it was not without controversy. Soon after he submitted his report involving Rijiju and his cousin Goboi, the officer was soon transferred out as IGP, Tripura sector of the CRPF as a lateral shift on deputation in July this year.
"Verma, a Gujarat IPS officer, was pulled up by NEEPCO for “unauthorised absence,” and transferred to the CRPF in Tripura soon after his report. He attributes the “absence” to his investigation."—a report in The Indian Express said.
Appointed as Neepco CVO in August 2014, Verma soon had run-in with the company and the power ministry itself which finally got him out of the public sector enterprise by formally lodging a complaint against him with the Ministry of Home Affairs for alleged 'high-handedness'. The official line is of course long absence from duty.
Before being shunted out of Neepco, the former CVO was given three show cause notices for unauthorised absence.
It is unlikely that the Tripura-based CRPF officer would have much popularity among colleagues from the IPS fraternity as well. His stand in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case resulted in seven IPS officers going behind bars which include high profile names like PP Pandey, DG Vanzara and GL Singhal among others.
Verma was on deputation with the Central Bureau of Investigation when he was made a member of the Special Investigation Team following court orders.
The IPS officer grabbed headlines in March this year as well when in a startling revelation, RVS Mani, former under secretary in the home ministry had told Times Now that he was coerced to file the second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan case. Mani directly accused Verma of torturing him.
"What Satish Verma did to me was unprecedented...On 21 June 2013, Satish Verma burnt me with cigarettes," he told Times Now. "He was not collecting evidence, but engineering evidence," he further said. "I was chased by so many officers and people," he said.
Verma, however, rejected the charges.
“Further, Mr. Mani has spoken about physical torture by cigarette…; I must say the CBI never tortures anybody in such a way in any of their investigations. Suppose, I had done what Mr. Mani was claiming – it would be a big misconduct and perhaps it would be a crime under law. He was an officer of the Government of India, he must be aware of the fact that he could take legal action against me (for misconduct). Also, the highest investigating agency like the CBI, which doesn’t tolerate such misconducts, would also have taken some action. Hence, the charges are baseless," the IPS officer was quoted as saying by ABP News.
The IPS officer was also entangled with the Gujarat state over a government accommodation allotted to him but later withdrew the plea.
A report in The Indian Express said that Verma approached the Gujarat High Court to get a state government order quashed asking him to vacate a flat on Ahmedabad’s CG Road allotted to him in 2013 when he was with the state police.
However, on legal advice, the officer decided to approach the CAT after withdrawing the case from the high court.
A NDTV report said that the Verma's family occupies a flat at the Samarpan Government Colony in Ahmedabad. The state government wants the officer to vacate the Ahmedabad accommodation as he is on deputation with the CRPF now.
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Updated Date: Dec 13, 2016 17:34:47 IST