In a big setback to the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected the state’s plea seeking clarification in the apex court order to reinstate TP Senkumar as the state police chief. The court also issued a notice to the government on the contempt plea filed by the senior IPS officer.
The SC also asked the state government to remit Rs. 25000 as the court fee.
“We can impose cost even if you are withdrawing the petition”, a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur told senior lawyer Sidharth Luthra who appeared for the state.
On 24 April, the Supreme Court had ordered to reinstate TP Senkumar as the DGP, who was removed from the seat when the left government took office. However, even after one week, the SC order has not been executed and Senkumar’s council told the apex court that the state chief secretary Nalini Netto is deliberately delaying the appointment and demanded contempt of court actions against her.
Since Senkumar’s term ends on 30 June, his advocate also asked the court to direct the state to re-appoint the IPS officer with immediate effect.
The plea filed by state government said, “the appellant (Senkumar) was only appointed as DGP, and he was neither empanelled nor participated nor considered nor selected as the state police chief as prescribed under Section 18 of the Kerala Police Act. It is therefore submitted that the appellant is not entitled to be appointed to the post of state police chief but only to the post of DGP.”
When state government submitted “the time taken was because the file was under process”, Dave shot back “when he was to be removed it did not even take 24 hours. Even so many days after the apex court order they say the file is in process. This is nothing but gross contempt”.
While reading out the order to reinstate Senkumar, the apex court bench, comprising of Justices Madan B Lokur and Dipak Gupta, had observed that he was transferred “arbitrarily” and that police officer cannot be made “scapegoats by politicians,” the report added.
Senkumar claimed that the real reason behind the action against him was his investigation into several political murders in the state in which the ruling party members were allegedly involved.
After being moved to the Kerala Police Housing and Construction Corporation as its managing director, Senkumar had moved Kerala High Court challenging his removal stating that a police chief's tenure is fixed at two years.