Patna: The Centre has given compulsory retirement from service to IPS officer Ajay Kumar Verma in “public interest”, the second such senior policeman from the state to get the order this week.
Verma, a 1985 batch IPS officer, was posted as deputy director in civil defence, a non-cadre post not directly connected to policing, for long. A notification issued by the home (police) department said that Verma has been given compulsory retirement under Rule 16 (3) of the All India Service Rule (death-cum-retirement benefit) 1953.
According to the official notification, Verma will be paid three months’ salary and allowances. Authoritative sources in the home department said Verma would be entitled to post-retirement benefits such as pension.
The Centre decided to give Verma premature retirement after assessment of his performance. The order was duly approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).
The Centre’s decision comes after consultation with the state government in July this year. Sources said the performance of an officer is reviewed after he or she completes 15 years of qualifying service or attains 25 years of service or attains 50 years of age. In the absence of such a review after 15 or 25 years of service or upon attainment of 50 years of age, the Centre may ask the state government to conduct such a review of an officer at any time it deems fit.
Verma is the second senior IPS officer to have been given pre-mature retirement from service from Bihar. On Monday, 1994 batch officer Amitabh Kumar Das was given premature retirement. Das was posted as SP-cum-assistant commissioner of civil defence though his rank was that of an IG.
According to the existing rules, when the Centre, in consultation with the state government, decides to compulsorily retire an officer of the all India service, he or she is given at least three months’ notice in writing.
When contacted, Das said he would challenge the order in the high court. “I am in consultation with my legal advisor. I will file a case in the high court challenging the order of the government very soon,” Das told The Telegraph on Friday. He claimed he was being victimised for exposing wrongdoings in the government, both in the state and at the Centre.
Sources said the two senior cops earned the wrath of the state government for showing their displeasure with the dispensation from time to time. Das, who was then posted as SP (rail), Patna, had written to the railway board in April 2003 alerting about substandard railway track maintenance by criminal gangs who frequently clashed over lucrative contracts, from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh to Danapur in Bihar and Dhanbad in Jharkhand.
Das, a native of Darbhanga district, had blamed the poor quality of railway work for derailment of trains and other accidents. He had also mentioned the names of the dons-turned-contractors and their areas of operation. The dons were allegedly obliged by a former railway minister by way of award of contracts such as laying of tracks, construction of bridges, road over bridges in different railway divisions in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, Das’s letter, a copy of which is with The Telegraph, had claimed.
Das, who was promoted to IG rank after the intervention of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) earlier this year, had also accused a few senior BJP leaders, including a Union minister, of having close connections with the erstwhile Ranvir Sena, a private army of land owners of south and central Bihar.
Verma, the sources said, also became a victim of alleged “bias”. He reportedly invited the ire of the dispensation for writing against it. It was because of his frustration due to departmental harassment that Verma, considered an upright officer, had written to then IG (headquarters) Neelmani in September 2004, to declare him “insane”.
As SP of vigilance, Verma had made it to the headlines after he unearthed a scam in the appointment of lecturers.
Verma had raised objections over the appointment of the wards of many politicians, some of who later became state ministers, in his report.
“I became a scapegoat and is being penalised for exposing the illegal appointment of an influential leader’s wife as lecturer,” Verma had earlier told this correspondent.
The officer had once thrown a challenge of sorts to the state government, claiming that he would make Patna a crime-free city on the lines of a metropolis if posted as the commissioner of police.
Verma was recently punished by the state government. He was not only denied promotion but his grade pay was reduced for “indecent behaviour”.
“He is in the habit of writing letters to the police headquarters on the sorry state of affairs,” an IPS officer said under cover of anonymity.
Authoritative sources in the Union home ministry said that around 130 senior IAS and IPS officers have been given premature retirement from service for non-performance across the country in the past two years.
Courtesy: The Telegraph