MS Jaffer Sait IPS, the senior police officer who had been 'shunted out' to obscure postings during the Jayalalithaa regime for his apparent links with the DMK, has been posted as the chief of the TN CB-CID, a move being seen as a significant positive turn in his career.
Issuing orders on Wednesday, Additional Chief Secretary to Government Niranjan Mardi posted the officer, who was serving as Project Officer at the Tamil Nadu Police Academy, as Additional Director General of Police, CB CID(Crime Branch - Crime Investigation Department).
The influential senior officer had served as Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) between 2006 and 2011 during the DMK regime. The officer was known to enjoy the confidence of then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and other top leaders in the DMK. However, in 2011, when J Jayalalithaa stormed to power, the cop was shunted by the AIADMK and given an obscure posting at the Mandapam refugee camp in Ramanathapuram district. He was suspended shortly thereafter for his alleged involvement in the Tamil Nadu Housing Board scam. The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption(DVAC) in the state had filed a chargesheet against the senior policeman for having obtained a prime plot in Chennai's Thiruvanmiyur area under the 'discretionary quota' by falsifying records.
The much-publicized case witnessed the DVAC searching the premises of the top cop following which he was suspended in August 2011. Sait was charged with cheating and criminal conspiracy for reportedly enabling his subordinates acquire government housing in addition to pocketing a plot for himself, under his wife's name. In 2016, a Central Administrative Tribunal set aside the suspension. In 2017, the Madras High Court reinstated the officer, describing him as a “victim of prolonged suspension”. He was posted to the Tamil Nadu Police Academy in Chennai as Project Officer in June 2017.
In 2014, the Aam Aadmi Party, as part of its national campaign against corrupt political parties, released the audio of a conversation purportedly taking place between DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and Jaffer Sait, where the latter reportedly asks the DMK leader to appoint him as Director General of Police. There were other tapes too in which the officer were allegedly in conversation with Sharad Kumar, then accused in 2G scam case and with Karunanidhi's staff.
The officer’s elevation comes as a surprise to many in the state. However, sources close to the development tell TNM that Sait's posting to the CB-CID signals that he is in the good books of the police leadership of the state, and also the willingness of the Chief Minister to accept requests from senior officers. "Ahead of the elections, they want to keep officers happy," a senior officer in the Tamil Nadu police said. The recent transfer of CK Gandhirajan to Fire Services from a posting at Human Rights Commission, also indicated the Chief Minister's willingness to accede to requests of the officers, the officer pointed out.