SC Directs Kerala Government to Reinstate Former DGP TP Senkumar

The state government had told the court that Senkumar’s transfer was for how he had handled the tragedy’s fallout.

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Kerala government to reinstate former Director General of Police (DGP) TP Senkumar, saying he was transferred from the post "arbitrarily".

The apex court set aside the order of the Kerala High Court, which had upheld the Central Administrative Tribunal's (CAT) decision that had not found fault with the state government's decision to transfer Senkumar from the post of the state police chief.

“We direct reinstatement of DGP TP Senkumar,” a bench comprising Justices MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.

The Kerala government had on 11 April defended in the apex court its decision to transfer Senkumar, saying he had protected “erring” police officials in the 2016 Puttingal temple fire tragedy in which 110 people were killed.

The state government had told the court that Senkumar's transfer was not a punishment for the "lapse" which had led to the 10 April 2016 incident, but it was for how he had handled the fallout of the tragedy.

On 10 April last year, when Senkumar was Kerala's DGP, there was an explosion leading to a blaze after a fireworks display went awry at Puttingal Temple in Kollam district. 110 people had died while over 300 were injured in the incident.