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Did the government say no enquiry is needed against Davinder Singh in the terror case? Fact Check

The second paragraph of the order read that the Lieutenant Governor was satisfied under Article 311(2) of the Constitution of India that there was no need for further enquiry in the case of Davinder Singh in the interest of the National Security and his dismissal came into effect immediately.

On August 2, several journalists, Congress leaders and other prominent ‘intellectuals’ took a dig at the Union Government over an order issued on May 20, 2021 by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir’s General Administration Department. The order concerned the dismissal of Davinder Singh, Superintendent of Police, who was under suspension at the time for his alleged links to terrorist organisations.

The questions raised over a specific paragraph in the order

The second paragraph of the order read that the Lieutenant Governor was satisfied under Article 311(2) of the Constitution of India that there was no need for further enquiry in the case of Davinder Singh in the interest of the National Security and his dismissal came into effect immediately. Without understanding what the law says, several journalists, Congress and other opposition party leaders and some high-profile intellectuals raised questions regarding the Union Government, Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The order caught the eye of one Anand, who goes by the username anandexplores on Twitter. He wrote a thread on the said order on August 1 in which he said, “Remember Davinder Singh, the terrorist who was ferrying other terrorists to Delhi for an attack. Read the second para – ‘In the interest of the security of the State’. The Governor that is the Union Government of India under Narendra Modi doesn’t want an enquiry on the Terrorist Davinder Singh.”

He further added, “You know what ‘In the interest of the security of the State’ means!! Is it nothing else than the state’s (read Modi Government’s & his henchman Doval’s) complicity in the terrorist activity? Or terrorism doesn’t need enquiries anymore?

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala was among the first to raise questions against the Union Government. In a August 1 tweet, he asked several questions. He said, “Who is J&K Dy. S.P, Devinder Singh? Why can’t Govt hold an enquiry? Why does the enquiry threaten National Security? What is his role, if any, in Pulwama? Who was he arrested with? What’s the name of his accomplices? What is the Modi Govt hiding?” He ended his tweet by saying that the nation has the right to know the answer to all these questions.

National Editor and Diplomatic Affairs Editor of The Hindu, Suhasini Haider, was “shocked” over the order. She said, “Truly shocking…while hundred languish in jail for years on false charges of terrorism, the State is going out of its way to let a Police officer, caught in the act of transport terrorists in order to allegedly carry out an act of terror, a free pass out of any enquiry?”

Aam Aadmi Party Social Media Team member Kapil wrote, “‘Ferrying terrorists to Delhi for an attack’ in Jan ’20, just a few days before Delhi Elections, when the conditions were highly volatile due to Shaheen Bagh protests! You don’t need to be Einstein to understand whose planning it was! Now GOI doesn’t want an enquiry against him.”

Journalist Aditya Menon alleged that there was always a possibility that Singh would be let off lightly. He said, “This was always the threat – that Davinder Singh will be dismissed as a one-off case and let off lightly. It merited a full-fledged inquiry into whose orders Davinder was acting under and whether our security establishment is complicit with terrorists.”

Ravi Nair, columnist for The Wire, Newsclick and Janata ka Reporter, said, “Devinder Singh, the infamous DSP of J&K police, who was accused of having terror links, was dismissed from the service on 21 May. The government decided that “in the interest of the security of the State, it is not expedient to hold an enquiry in the case of Mr Devinder Singh.”

Congress supporter Sanjukta Basu quoted a report by Telegraph and said, “J&K cop Devinder Singh is dismissed for colluding with terrorists, but no further investigation is to be done because of the money trail and terror connections may directly lead to Modi Shah Doval. Opp should take this to Court.”

Journalist Aurangzeb Naqshbandi questioned the government and said, “No inquiry against Devinder Singh “in the interest of the security of the state”. मामला गड़बड़ है! (There is something fishy).

No one tried to understand Article 311

The order has cited Article 311 clearly in the second paragraph. While everyone took the phrase “no further enquiry required” out of context, sufficient attention was not paid to what the law says. According to Article 311 Clause (2), Sub-Clause (c) inquiry is not required in some cases while dismissing a government employee. To understand the importance of the sub-clause, it is essential to understand Article 311 itself.

Article 311 deals with the dismissal, removal or reduction in rank of persons employed in civil capacities under the Union or the State. The law states that a civil servant can be dismissed only by someone who is of the equal or higher rank from the person who has appointed the person of interest. It also states that before dismissing, removing or reducing the rank, there should be an inquiry where he should be informed of the charges against him and should be given a reasonable opportunity to put his side of the story.

However, in the interest of National Security, some clauses allow the government without holding such inquiries. Under the sub-clause (C) of clause (2) of the said Act, if the President or the Governor is satisfied that in the interest of the National Security, the person can be dismissed or removed without any inquiry. Details of the law can be read here.

NIA has already filed a chargesheet against Davinder Singh

Notably, National Investigation Agency had already submitted a chargesheet against Davinder Singh in July 2020. His name was included in the chargesheet against six people, including Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorist Syed Naveed. In June 2020, NIA had confirmed that it had “adequate evidence” against the rogue cop and would be filing a charge-sheet against him in due course of time. He was arrested under the anti-terror UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) law.

Davinder Singh’s terror connection

It was reported that DSP Davinder Singh, who was on the payroll of the Islamic terror organisation, had been taking money not only for transporting and sheltering Naveed but was also receiving money on a regular basis from the terrorist for extending assistance throughout the year. Singh was involved in multiple operations of trapping and killing militants or forcing their arrest or surrender.

The other accused in the case are two Hizb-ul terrorists Naveed Mushtaq alias Babu, Rafi Ahmed Rather and lawyer Irfan Shafi Mir. The three were arrested with the DSP from a checkpoint on the highway at Wanpoh area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

The fifth person to be arrested was Naveed’s brother Irfan Mushtaq. He was held on January 23 for allegedly being part of the conspiracy, and the sixth accused arrested in the case was the ex-president of cross-LoC trade Tanveer Ahmed Wani.

Dismissal of 11 government employees in July

In July 2021, 11 govt employees, including sons of terror org Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin were fired in a terror funding case. All eleven were dismissed as per the provisions provided under Article 311 of the constitution.

Verdict: No, the government did not say there is no enquiry needed in Davinder Singh case. The information shared by journalists, leaders and intellectuals is FALSE.

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Searched termsDavinder Singh order
B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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