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SC reinstates Kerala DGP, sets a huge precedence

SC reinstates Kerala DGP, sets a huge precedence
Former Kerala DGP TP Senkumar (photo: UNI) has been reinstated by the Supreme Court (photo: Anil Shakya)

The apex court rules that the transfer of the state’s top cop was “arbitrary”

In what can be called a path-breaking judgement, providing a legal precedent to all similar appeals, the Supreme Court on April 24 ordered the Kerala government to reinstate the state’s former Director General of Police (DGP) TP Senkumar to his post. The court, after final hearings, termed his transfer “arbitrary”.

This is a victory for the IPS community which has for long fought for independence from political interference which has made the police in each state of India no more than pawns in the hands of politicians who wield the threat of transfer.

Senkumar was transferred out of his post as the top cop of Kerala by the state’s Left Democratic Front (LDF) government led by the CPI(M), soon after it came to power last May.

Senkumar approached the apex court, alleging that government had victimized him for his impartial investigation into political killings in Kannur. The reason given behind Senkumar’s transfer was inaction in a case of brutal rape and murder of a law student, Jisha, in Kochi last year.

Senkumar sought quashing of this order of transfer as it was illegal and unsustainable and sought permission to continue as the state police chief.

The case was heard by Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta. In the last hearing, all presentations were completed and on April 24 the judgement came as a reminder to all political parties that interference into police administration will be tolerated to only such an extent that the law might permit.

This order also sets aside the Kerala High Court’s verdict of upholding the Central Administrative Tribunal’s (CAT) that found no fault with the state government’s transfer order.

—By India Legal Bureau