New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ordered the Kerala government to reinstate ousted DGP TP Senkumar causing a major embarrassment to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
[blurb]This would mean present incumbent Loknath Behera would have to be removed from the post. The court held Senkumar's removal was arbitrary and not as per established law.[/blurb]
A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta delivered its judgment on a plea filed by Senkumar seeking his reinstatement.
Reacting to the verdict, CM Pinarayi Vijayan said: âWe accept the Supreme Court verdict. Courts examine the legal aspects of government decisions. As of now, only a small portion of the verdict has come out. We will get the full verdict by the evening. Whatever is to be done legally, will be done.â
[quote]Speaking to CNN-News18 after the verdict, Senkumar said: âThis verdict will help other police officers who face similar problems. I want to thank the legal team that backed me.â[/quote]
Senkumar added that he was in âno hurryâ to get reinstated. âI am not at all in a hurry to be reinstated. For 11 months, I was not in a hurry. This case was for a causeâ¦ mainly for the younger generation to come.â
He also thanked advocates Dushyant Dave and Prashant Bhushan for taking up the case pro bono. âMany times, officers like us cannot approach the Supreme Court. We canât afford that kind of money,â he said.
Senkumar was shifted out by the newly elected Vijayan government in May 2016 citing lapses in the probing the Jisha murder case and the firework tragedy at the Puttingal temple. Senkumar, who was transferred as head of the Police Housing Construction Corporation, did not take charge and challenged the decision in court.
[blurb]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.[/blurb]
The Kerala government had on April 11 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 April 10, 2016 incident but it was for how he had handled the fallout of the tragedy.
On April 10 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. As many as 110 people had died while over 300 were injured in the incident.
(With PTI inputs)