Convicted ACP still serving Delhi Police & drawing pay.
Senior police officers blamed " technical" reasons for Rathi's continuance in service. While nine other police personnel who were convicted along with the ACP have been dismissed, Rathi continues to hold his post and draws 75 per cent of his salary, an officer said.
He added that it was the post of ACP that was posing a hurdle for the police in dismissing Rathi. Rathi, then an inspector, was promoted as ACP in 1995. The promotion was ad- hoc and out of turn.
He was promoted for eliminating dreaded Uttar Pradesh criminal Satvir Gujjar in West Delhi's Tilak Nagar.
The officer said Rathi was promoted following an order of the Delhi government that had the lieutenant- governor ( L- G)' s approval. The Delhi Police commissioner has powers to dismiss officers up to the rank of an inspector. So, the city police chief cannot dismiss Rathi.
The power to dismiss officers above the rank of inspector rests with the ministry of home affairs ( MHA). The MHA, however, could not dismiss Rathi because he is still mentioned as an ' inspector' in the ministry files. " When the file reached the MHA, it was sent back to the Delhi Police," the officer added.
According to the officer, the power to dismiss Rathi actually lies with the Delhi government. " The government can write to the L- G to take up the matter and he can be dismissed," he said.
Police officers said the Delhi government should have cancelled his promotion following his conviction in the fake encounter case. That would have allowed the Delhi Police to dismiss him.
Last week, the Delhi High Court took strong exception to Rathi's continuance in service and sought an explanation from the MHA on why action had not been taken against the officer.
The court asked the MHA to file an affidavit within four weeks.
Rathi, who headed the police team during the encounter, was convicted for murder and sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court in October 2007, a verdict upheld by the high court in September 2009.
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