Sanjay Popli is a former Indian professor and IAS officer who made headlines on 20 June 2022 when he was arrested over corruption charges.
Sanjay Popli was born on Saturday, 21 September 1963 (age 59 years; as of 2022), and he hails from Amritsar, Punjab, India. His zodiac sign is Virgo. He did his schooling at St. Francis School, Amritsar. Thereafter, he pursued his graduation at Hindu College, Amritsar. . He holds two bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and Geography. He earned a master’s degree in English from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. Later, he secured a Master of Philosophy in American Literature.
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is K.C. Popli.
His mother, Usha Popli, died on 17 August 2020, at 10.38 pm, in PGIMER, Chandigarh. His sister, Poonam Popli, works as a Customer Service Specialist at Air Canada.
Wife & Children
Sanjay Popli is married to Shree Popli (or Sri Popli).
His son, Kartik Popli, was preparing for the judicial service examination when he died of gunshot injuries on 25 June 2022 during an anti-corruption raid at his home in Sector 11, Chandigarh. Kartik did his schooling at Yadavindra Public School, Chandigarh. Kartik pursued his graduation at D.A.V. College, Chandigarh. Thereafter, Kartik pursued a three-year law programme at the O.P. Jindal Global University, from which he graduated in 2019. Kartik identified himself as a ‘lawyer, traveller and selenophile’ on his social media accounts. Kartik’s Instagram profile depicted that he loved to travel, liked dogs, and had an interest in photography.
House No. 520, Sector 11, Chandigarh
From July 1990 to May 1992, he served as a Professor of English and American Literature at St. Bede’s College, Shimla. He was appointed to the Punjab Civil Services in 1992 after which he was posted as SDM in various districts. In 2008, he was promoted and inducted into the Indian Administrative Service against the vacancies from the State Civil Service quota of Punjab. Although Popli was consecutively included in the combined eligibility list of vacancies for consideration for promotion to the IAS from 2010 to 2013, he had to fight a legal battle to be elevated to the IAS. Reportedly, he was denied an integrity certificate by the then Chief Secretary. He filed a petition in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in 2016 for considering his induction into Indian Administrative Service, claiming that the IAS branch of the Punjab government’s personnel department had tampered with and misrepresented his ACR for the year 2007-08. On 23 August 2017, he started his career as an IAS officer. His SCS / I.D No. is 01PB814001.
Positions Held (Indian Administrative Service)
- Special Secretary — Social Security — Women & Child Dev (from 24 August 2017 to 15 July 2018)
- Special Secretary — Department of Cooperation, Punjab govt— Agricultural Marketing / Agriculture & Cooperation (from 16 July 2018 to 23 September 2019)
- Director — Sports & Youth — Youth Affairs & Sports (24 September 2019)
- Special Secretary — Sports & Youth Services (Addl.)
- CEO of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board
- Appointed as the Commissioner for persons with disabilities and Director of Pensions in May 2022
On 20 June 2022, The Punjab Vigilance Bureau arrested IAS officer Sanjay Popli and his accomplice Sandeep Vats on corruption charges. Allegedly, the CEO of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board Popli sought a one per cent commission from the contractor of a Rs 7-crore sewerage project in Nawanshahr. A piece of video evidence was provided by the whistleblower Sanjay Kumar, a Karnal-based contractor via the anti-corruption helpline. Kumar had used a pen camera to record Vats receiving the bribe.
Booked Under Arms Act
Following his arrest on 20 June 2022 in the bribery case, Popli was booked under Arms Act. Vigilance Bureau officials found 73 bullets (41 of 7.65 bore, 30 of .22 bore and two of .32 bore) in his house during searches.
Charges of Extortion, False Evidence, and Criminal Conspiracy
In the aftermath of his arrest on corruption charges, Popli, along with an unidentified woman, was booked under charges of extortion, false evidence and criminal conspiracy.
Accusing Vigilance Bureau of killing Kartik Popli
On 25 June 2022, his son, Kartik Popli, died of gunshot injuries at his home in Sector-11, Chandigarh, while the Punjab vigilance team was searching the house over corruption charges against Sanjay Popli. While the family claimed that the vigilance Bureau officials had shot Kartik, Chandigarh’s SSP Kuldeep Chahal said that Kartik had shot himself with his licensed gun. Although Kartik was rushed to a hospital immediately, he was declared dead on arrival. The vigilance bureau seized 12kg gold, 3kg silver, four Apple iPhones, one Samsung Fold Phone, and two Samsung smartwatches from the storeroom of the Popli house. The 12 kg gold included nine gold bricks of 1 kg each, 49 gold biscuits, and 12 gold coins. Apart from three silver bricks, each weighing a kilogram and 18 silver coins, Rs 3.5 lakh was also recovered in cash.
While recounting her son’s death, Sanjay’s wife, Shree, said that the vigilance team took Kartik to the first floor for interrogation. She said,
They started pressuring him… They did not allow me to go upstairs, despite my requests. I somehow managed to catch a glimpse from the staircase and saw that they had a gun aimed at my son. I tried to go upstairs but was stopped. Moments later, I heard a gunshot. They killed my son.”
- As the SDM of Jalalabad in 1997, he had a conflict with a police officer, which led to a face-off between the police and Popli. Consequently, Sanjay was transferred from Jalalabad.
- His Annual Confidential Report (ACR) for the year 2003-2004 featured adverse remarks in which the General Assessment read,
He was found of ‘eloping’ from sub-divisional headquarters which an SDM can ill afford. Refused to mend his ways in spite of repeated advice/warnings.”
- Passionate about cricket since childhood, he actively participates in various one-day cricket matches. He earned the title of Best Bowler in 2017 during a cricket match between Punjab Governor’s IAS Eleven and Haryana Governor’s IAS Eleven, which was held at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali.
- He can speak four languages, Hindi, Punjabi, English, and Urdu.