JAMMU: Days after extending his suspension for six months, the Union home ministry has finally approved the premature retirement of Jammu and Kashmir police officer Basant Rath.
Rath has been retired under rule 16(3) of the All India Services (Death-Cum-Retirement-Benefits) Rules, 1958.
“In exercise of the powers conferred under Rule 16(3) of the All India Services (Death-Cum -Retirement Benefits) Rules, 1958, the President in consultation with the UT Division, Ministry of Home Affairs hereby requires Shri Basant Kumar Rath, IPS (AGMUT: 2000), a member of the Indian Police Service borne on the AGMUT cadre, to retire in public interest with immediate effect by giving three months’ pay and allowances in lieu of notice,” said an official order issued by Rakesh Kumar Singh, Under Secretary to the Govt of India, Ministry of Home Affairs.
An IPS officer of 2000 batch, Rath has been at loggerheads with his superiors in Jammu and Kashmir police for quite some time, and was suspended in July 2020 for ‘repeated instances of gross misconduct and misbehaviour’.
On July 28, the MHA had extended his suspension for another six months, until January 27, 2024, as recommended by the Central Review Committee.
Rath has been writing to the police chief, and officers in the administration, as well as the union home secretary Ajay Bhalla, urging them to write to the President of India to dismiss him from service.
Rath rose to popularity during his nine-month-long stint as Jammu and Kashmir’s traffic chief, during which his unorthodox style won him both bricks and bouquets.
After a Twitter spat with Srinagar Mayor Junaid Mattu, Rath was removed as IG Traffic and was shifted home guards and civil defence department in November 2018, twenty months before he was suspended from service.