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Hounded Politically, IG GP Singh Vindicated By Law

The 1994-batch IPS officer of Chhattisgarh cadre, GP Singh was jailed and compulsorily retired by Bhupesh Baghel government
Indian Masterminds Stories

It is a classic case of persecution of a bureaucrat who refused to toe the diktats of a party in power in Chhattisgarh. A plethora of criminal cases were lodged against him. He was suspended, jailed, and compulsorily retired by the state government.

The judiciary has now come to the rescue of the Chhatisgarh cadre IPS officer of the 1994 batch, Mr. Gurjinder Pal Singh. Not only did the Chhatisgarh High Court hold criminal proceedings against him in a ‘fabricated case’ but the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has also quashed the orders, retiring him compulsorily directing the state government to reinstate him in his original post with all due benefits.

Mr. Singh is a gallantry award winner and recipient of several commemorations and recommendations. His Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) have mostly been marked 9 out of 10 by his superiors. His troubles started after he was posted as IG of the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on February 27, 2019. The state government had changed barely three months ago, with Mr. Bhupesh Baghel of the Congress taking over as Chief Minister on December 17, 2018 replacing BJP’s Raman Singh.

In his application before CAT, Mr. Singh claimed that while investigating the high-profile Civil Supplies Scam worth over several thousand crores, he was subjected to political pressure to implicate certain people including Mr Raman Singh. He was also asked to weaken the case against some others, including the main accused Anil Tuteja, an IAS , who had already been charge-sheeted.

PERSECUTION BEGINS

He was abruptly transferred as Director of the State Police Academy, his ACR was downgraded to 6 with adverse remarks, and three FIRs were filed against him within a month – for owning disproportionate assets, sedition, and abetment of suicide in a six-year-old incident. The then DGP instituted three inquiry committees against several complaints received from private individuals. All these complaints were strangely received within 24 hours – between July 12 and July 13, 2021. None of these inquiries have been completed to date. The last nail in the proverbial coffin came when he was compulsorily retired in July 2023.

He ran from pillar to post, challenging the FIRs, disciplinary action against him, and his forced retirement. His condition worsened as he was put behind bars.

REINSTATEMENT ORDERED

Noting that FIRs were registered against him at the “behest of higher authorities of the (then Chhattisgarh) State government” as he did not toe its line, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Tuesday directed the reinstatement within four weeks of a Chhattisgarh IPS officer suspended in 2021.

Initially, he was released on bail as the case ‘concocted against him’ was too weak and couldn’t stand in a court of law. He was accused of having assets that were disproportionate to his income. But the assets listed in his and his father’s names were actually somebody else’s properties. The two kg of gold recovered from the scooter of a co-accused, as per the CCTV footage, was found to have been planted by the police.

STANDS VINDICATED

Finally, Mr. Singh stands vindicated. “The respondents (in this case the Union of India and the State of Chattisgarh) are directed to reinstate the applicant, with all consequential benefits, within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order,” noted the CAT in its April 30 order.

There is a sense of joy in the Singh family. Barred by court orders to speak to the media, Mr. Singh was not available for comments, but his wife Dr. Manpreet Kaur’s joy knows no bounds. “I knew from the first day that he was innocent. Now the entire world has accepted that. I am too grateful to the judiciary for seeing through the political designs. I am pained though that an upright officer had to go through such an ordeal for standing by the law,” she told Indian Masterminds.

‘IMPLICATE RAMAN SINGH’

In February 2019, Singh was appointed as the head of an SIT set up to verify the allegations of former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh in an alleged multi-crore public distribution system scam. Singh’s counsel, Himanshu Pandey, said that his client had conveyed to the then CM Bhupesh Baghel that the case against Raman Singh did not stand. Pandey alleged this infuriated the then CM, and hence “false FIRs were registered against him.”.

“Since he (GP Singh) did not toe the line of the higher echelons of the State Government, he was unceremoniously subjected to vindictive action by way of registering three successive FIRs within a period of less than a month,” noted the CAT order.

EVIDENCE PLANTED

In the disproportionate assets FIR, it was alleged that Singh owned two kg of gold, which was recovered from one Mani Bhushan, the star witness in the case. Bhushan, however, deposed before a Raipur Court recently that the gold was planted by the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) officials and further that the content relating to the sedition case was forged.

“From the statement of Mr. Mani Bhushan, we find substance in the case of the applicant that 2 kg of gold and seditious material had been planted by the investigating officer illegally to frame him in a criminal case,” noted the CAT in the order.

Referring to the third FIR, the CAT said: “…it is clear from the fact that the said FIR was filed in respect of an incident, that took place six years ago, which gives credence to the applicant’s contention that it got registered maliciously and with an ulterior motive to frame him.”

‘IMPLICATE RAMAN SINGH’

In February 2019, Singh was appointed as the head of an SIT set up to verify the allegations of former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh in an alleged multi-crore public distribution system scam. Singh’s counsel, Himanshu Pandey, said that his client had conveyed to the then CM Bhupesh Baghel that the case against Raman Singh did not stand. Pandey alleged this infuriated the then CM, and hence “false FIRs were registered against him”.

“Since he (GP Singh) did not toe the line of the higher echelons of the State Government, he was unceremoniously subjected to vindictive action by way of registering three successive FIRs within a period of less than a month,” noted the CAT order.

EVIDENCE PLANTED

In the disproportionate assets FIR, it was alleged that Singh owned two kgs of gold, which was recovered from one Mani Bhushan, the star witness in the case. Bhushan, however, deposed before a Raipur Court recently that the gold was planted by the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) officials, and further that the content relating to the sedition case was forged.

“From the statement of Mr. Mani Bhushan, we find substance in the case of the applicant that 2 kg gold and seditious material had been planted by the investigating officer illegally in order to frame him in a criminal case,” noted the CAT in the order.

Referring to the third FIR, the CAT said: “…it is clear from the fact that the said FIR was filed in respect of an incident, which took place six years ago, gives credence to the applicant’s contention that it got registered maliciously and with an ulterior motive in order to frame him.”


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