The Leaflet

| @theleaflet_in | April 9,2019

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and M R Shah today directed the Central government to allow IPS officer Satish Kumar Verma, who probed the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, to travel abroad from April 28 to June 1, 2019, to visit his son who is employed in the US and his daughter who is studying in France.  

Pending departmental enquiry cannot be a ground to deny permission to travel abroad, which is a recognised fundamental right of a citizen, the Supreme Court said. 

Verma, through Advocate-on-Record, Divyesh Pratap Singh had approached the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Union Home Ministry denying him permission to travel aboard. The decision was unsuccessfully challenged by the petitioner before the Central Administrative Tribunal and the Madras High Court.  

Appearing for Verma, senior advocate Indira Jaising argued that the right to travel abroad was a fundamental right as laid down in Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India. She also referred to a previous order of the Apex Court in the case of the petitioner when the Court had permitted him to travel abroad when he was denied permission on the same ground of pending departmental enquiries.

 

 

Verma who is currently posted as IGP/Principal, Central Training College (CTC), CRPF, Coimbatore, in Tamil Nadu, had applied on October 4, 2018  for 27 days Earned Leave (EL) from December 24, 2018 to January 19, 2019 (inclusive of holidays on December 23, 2018 and January 20, 2019), and for permission to travel to out of the country between these dates.

However, on December 14, 2018, the Union Home Ministry refused him permission on the ground of pending departmental enquiries against him.

Aggrieved with the decision of the Home Ministry, Verma approached the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Chennai Bench challenging the refusal to allow him to travel abroad, but to no avail. The Madras High Court also refused to interfere with the decision of CAT.

In 2017, when Verma was denied permission by the Central Government to travel abroad, he had approached the Apex Court, which had on May 8, 2017 overturned the government’s decision.

Satish Verma had declared before the Gujarat High Court in 2010 that Ishrat Jahan had been killed in a fake encounter. Mr Verma, a Gujarat-cadre IPS officer, was a member of the SIT that was constituted by the high court to investigate the case.

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