NEW DELHI — Retrospectively charging a police officer for sedition when the government changes were termed a “disturbing trend” by the Supreme Court of India in a case involving a top Raipur cop allegedly complicit in a conspiracy against the government.

“(The) state of affairs in the country is sad,” said a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana.

The observation of the Bench came while granting protection from arrest to the suspended Director of Chhattisgarh Police Academy, against whom two criminal cases of sedition and amassing of disproportionate assets have been filed by the state government.

1994-batch Indian Police Service officer Gurjinder Pal Singh, who had served as the Inspector General of Police of Raipur, Durg, and Bilaspur during the erstwhile Bharatiya Janata Party government term, was initially booked in the disproportionate assets case following raids at his premises by the state’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and Economic Offences Wing (EOW).

Later, a sedition case was registered against him on the grounds of his alleged involvement in promoting enmity and hatching a conspiracy against the government.

The top court directed the Congress-led Chhattisgarh government not to arrest Singh for four weeks in either of the cases. It also directed Singh to cooperate with the agencies in the investigation.

“This is a very disturbing trend in the country, and the police department is also responsible for this,” it said during the hearing. 

“When a political party is in power, police officials take the side of the particular (ruling) party. Then when another new party comes into power, the government initiates action against the police officials.c.”

Appearing for the State Government alongside Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, Mukul Rohatgi questioned the protection from arrest being granted to senior authority. He said Singh was the head of the police academy but “look at his conduct; he has been absconding.” 

Recently, the Chhattisgarh High Court had refused to quash the sedition case against Singh. He challenged the High Court order in the top court.

The Supreme Court also issued the notice on two separate pleas of Singh to the state government.

The documents recovered during the Anti-Corruption Bureau and Economic Offences Wing’s raids revealed that Singh was allegedly involved in promoting enmity and hatching a conspiracy against the established government and public representatives and was booked under sedition charges.

He was suspended on July 5, after the agencies on June 29 registered an FIR (First Information Report) under the Prevention of Corruption Act in connection with the disproportionate assets case. 

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Amrita Das and Krishna Kakani

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