New Delhi: Senior IAS officer B.K. Prasad, who led the probe into the Ishrat Jahan missing files case and was at the centre of a row after taped evidence emerged of him tutoring a witness has been rewarded with an extension and a secretary-level posting for a two year period. The appointments committee of cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the appointment of Prasad to the new post, an order issued by the department of personnel and training (DoPT) said.
Prasad, who was appointed secretary, National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes, got a two-month extension ending this Sunday after he was due to retire on May 31 after completing 60 years of age on superannuation. He is currently an additional secretary in the home ministry.
Tasked with locating certain home ministry papers related to the Ishrat Jahan case that had gone missing, Prasad was recorded by the Indian Express tutoring an official in advance of his formal questioning that he should deny ever having seen the missing papers.
When confronted with the evidence of tutoring a witness, Prasad said he had conducted a fair inquiry and that all officers interrogated by him were fully capable of answering questions relating to the probe on their own. “No evidence has been produced establishing that Mr Ashok Kumar testified being tutored during my alleged conversation,” he had said.
The Indian Express has released an audio tape of the conversation.
Nineteen-year-old Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in an encounter in Gujarat in 2004 that the CBI says was fabricated. At the time, the Gujarat police claimed that those killed were LeT terrorists who had planned to assassinate the then chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. The CBI said there was no such plot.
In the aftermath of the controversy surrounding the issue of papers going missing from the file relating to successive affidavits filed by the ministry in the Ishrat Jahan case, the MHA ordered an enquiry, headed by Prasad, on March 14 this year. The panel submitted its report of the investigation on June 15.