New Delhi: Geeta Johri, of the 1982 batch, was Gujarat's first woman IPS officer. Belonging to the Gujarat cadre, she began her career in Ahmedabad in 1982. She was then posted to Gandhinagar and Vadodara. She was also the principal of police training school at Vadodara.
Geeta Johri's career graph has seen many ups and downs since the 1990s. In September 1992, Johri catapulted in to fame when she took on mafia don Abdul Latif by raiding his den in Popatiawad at Dariapur and arrested his gunman Sharif Khan. But Latif managed to escape.
In 1998, as Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG Police) in Gandhinagar, she was in the eye of the storm when a dispute with the top politicians in connection with the investigations of a case, saw her being sent on a 'punishment posting' to the Training Academy at Vadodara.
In 2006, when on another low-profile posting in CID (crime), she headed the investigations into the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter and the killing of his wife Kausarbi, following a petition filed by Sohrabuddin's brother Rubabuddin in the Supreme Court. Her detailed and rigorous inquiry confirmed that the encounter was a fake one. The inquiry also exposed the involvement of several police officers and on the basis of the evidence gathered by her, 13 police officers were arrested, including controversial DIG DG Vanzara, SP Rajkumar Pandian and Dinesh MN. The arrests were made by DIG Police, Rajnish Rai, who was formally in-charge of the investigation.
Soon, Rai was asked to quit the probe and Johri was reinstated. But before leaving, Rai handed over the CDs containing the telephone records of the three accused to his superiors. Johri had a major showdown with her superiors and was then asked to report directly to the apex court. However, the charge sheet that she filed before the sessions court in the case was severely criticised. The SC ordered that the case go to CBI only after finding faults in Johri's handling of the case.
The apex court, while transferring the case to the CBI, minced no words in expressing displeasure at the failure of the state police's special investigation team, headed by Inspector General of Police Johri, to identify the seven Andhra Pradesh police personnel who assisted the local police in the fake encounter.
The CBI is learnt to have stepped up pressure on Geeta Johri to spill the beans on the Sohrabuddin case or face arrest. Sources say the CBI has incriminating documents to show that top policemen worked closely with politicians to scuttle investigations in the case.
The CBI believes that Johri was willing to bend the rules. Although it was in May 2007 that Johri's investigations showed that the policemen who killed Sohraubddin and Kauser wanted promotions and rewards, she steered clear of linking them to a political conspiracy. The CBI believes she destroyed crucial documents.
The Central Bureau of Investigation issued summons to Geetha Johri on Thursday and asked her to appear before the agency by August 10. Johri, currently posted as Police Commissioner of Rajkot city, is in Britain at present and is expected to come back on August 6.