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Kerala Govt Moves SC, Says TP Senkumar Can’t be Reinstated as State Police Chief

The state government has added there was another person appointed as the State Police Chief and therefore, the court required to clarify that its April 24 judgment would not affect this appointment.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:May 4, 2017, 10:32 AM IST
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Kerala Govt Moves SC, Says TP Senkumar Can’t be Reinstated as State Police Chief
TP Senkumar (Left) CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

New Delhi: Kerala government on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court, claiming senior IPS officer T P Senkumar cannot be reinstated as the State Police Chief.

Filing an application to clarify the court’s judgment of April 24, the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in the Kerala has contended that Senkumar was appointed as the Director General of Police (DGP) before his removal in June 2016 and therefore he cannot be reinstated as “Director General of Police & State Police Chief”.

In its application, the state government has argued that Senkumar was neither empanelled nor selected as the State Police Chief and he was holding the post as “DGP and Head of Police Force” when he was removed.

It has asked the court to modify its judgment to the state that he could be appointed only as the DGP. At the same time, the state government has said, it was also filing a review petition separately against the order of his reinstatement.

The state government has added there was another person appointed as the State Police Chief and therefore, the court required to clarify that its April 24 judgment would not affect this appointment.

The Kerala government’s move has come less than a week after Senkumar filed a contempt plea in the apex court, accusing Kerala government of breaching the court orders by not reinstating him.

Senkumar, through his lawyers Dushyant Dave and Harris Beeran, told the court that there were deliberate attempts by the state government to dilly dally the matter so that he reaches the age of superannuation on June 30.

The court has agreed to hear Senkumar’s plea on Friday.

On April 24, a bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur had directed the state government to reinstate Senkumar, who, according to the court, was “unfairly and arbitrarily dealt with”.

In a first such order on reinstatement of a top police officer, the court nullified the state government’s order dated June 1, 2016 whereby Senkumar was shunted out as DGP and made chairman and managing director of Kerala Police Housing and Construction Corporation Ltd.

Examining the Kerala Police Act 2011, which assures a minimum tenure of two years for DGPs, the court had held there was no justification in law to displace Senkumar before the end of his term. Senkumar was appointed in May 2015.

It further stated that the court was “disturbed” by the fact that aspersions were cast on Senkumar only after the LDF government came to power in May 2016. “The removal or displacement or transfer out of an officer from a sensitive tenure post requires serious consideration and good reasons that can be tested so that the officer is not dealt with as a pawn in a game. Unfortunately, the somewhat exacting standards are absent in the present case and the appellant (Senkumar) was displaced from the post of state police chief summarily and without reasonable cause,” it held.

Senkumar was removed following his indictment in the Puttingal Temple tragedy in Kollam in which more than 100 people lost their life. The government blamed him for allegedly protecting erring police officials. The second case related to alleged laxity in the initial probe into the murder of a Dalit girl.

However, in his affidavit in the court, Senkumar said the CPM was acting maliciously against him since he had conducted honest probe into the murders of RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan, Muslim League activist Ariyil Shukkoor and RSS leader Kathiroor Manoj. The involvement of CPM leaders in all these cases was alleged.

The bench, in its judgment, had noted that there was nothing to hold Senkumar directly responsible for any lapses.

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| Edited by: Nakshab Khan
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