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By Sumit Saxena

The Tamil Nadu government on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging the appointment of retired Inspector General of Police A G Ponn Manickavel as the head of Idol Wing-Criminal Investigation Department by the Madras High Court.

Attorney General (AG) appearing for the state government objected to the Madras HC order and said that the appointment of the retired officer is contrary to the law. The AG told the bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice K M Joseph that police officer continues to wear the uniform and conducting unauthorized raids. The AG informed the bench that the state government does not know what this officer is doing, as he retired on November 30, 2018. The AG also challenged the conduct of the officer and inquired about the nature of permission granted to him to conduct investigations, and cited that 66 officials have complained against him.

The bench countered the AG argument stating this is unfortunately the fate of many upright officers. AG contested that the High Court could not appoint a retired person. The counsel for Manickavel rebutted that as per the legal position, courts have appointed special officers in the past. Enquiring about the conduct of the police official, the bench asked the AG about the nature of steps taken by the officer pursuant to his special appointment by the Madras High Court.

Manickavel’s counsel informed the bench that the impression made out before the Supreme Court is misconceived about the efficiency of the officer. Contesting the argument, the AG said that a case is made out that the police officer have recovered a precious idol from Australia; it is completely false, as the idol was given by the Australian prime minister to the Indian prime minister. After hearing arguments from both sides, the bench listed the matter on February 19, to further understand the aspect of the appointment of a retired officer.

On November 30, 2018, the Madras High Court appointed Inspector General of Police A G Ponn Manickavel, who retired on the same day, as a Special Officer for a year and allowed him to continue to head the Idol Wing-Criminal Investigation Department.

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