Kerala government moves Supreme Court seeking modification plea reinstating senior IPS officer T P Senkumar as state police chief, only DGP possible

SC issues Contempt of Court notice to Kerala Govt over Senkumar case

New Delhi,May4: The Kerala government on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking modification of its earlier order reinstating senior IPS officer T P Senkumar as the state police chief, saying he was only entitled to be appointed as DGP.

“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,” the plea said.

It said that Senkumar was a DGP who was “merely enjoying” the apex pay scale as head of the police force with his cadre posting being only that of a DGP and nothing more.

“As per the order of appointment dated May 22, 2015 issued by the state, the appellant was appointed to the post of Director General of Police and Head of Police Force and not to the post of Director General of Police and State Police Chief, which is a separate and distinct post,” it said.

The modification plea, filed by advocate G Prakash, claimed that to be appointed as the state police chief, the procedure under Section 18 of the Kerala Police Act, 2011 should have been followed.

“As the appellant was appointed without following due procedure under Section 18, the government did not appoint him as the state police chief,” it said.

Section 18 of the Kerala Police Act, 2011 enables the appointment of state police chief by the government taking into account the ability to lead the police force of the state, overall history of service, professional knowledge and experience.

The petition said that in 2012, for the first appointment under Section 18 of the Act, the government had constituted a committee consisting of Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary, Home and Vigilance and Director General of Police.

The apex court had on April 24 ordered the reinstatement of Senkumar, saying he was transferred by the ruling LDF government “unfairly” and “arbitrarily”.

It had 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.

The petition also sought clarification of the April 24 order so that it will not affect the other appointments and transfers effected by the said order other than that of Senkumar.

The plea said that on June 1, 2016, Lokanath Behera was appointed to the post of Director General of Police and state police chief as per Section 18 of the Act and that too after constituting a committee for the selection of the state police chief.

“By the impugned judgment set aside the order dated June 1, 2016 in its entirety. It is respectfully submitted that by setting aside the order, the other appointments of Jacob Thomas IPS as director, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, transfer of N Shanker Reddy IPS and the appointment of Loknath Behera as the state police chief were also set aside,” it said.

The plea also clarified that the transfer order of Senkumar has nothing to do with the appointment of the state police chief as he was never appointed in this particular post.

Senkumar had on April 29 moved the apex court seeking contempt action against state government and its chief secretary alleging “wilful, deliberate disobedience” of its order reinstating him.

The contempt plea, filed against Chief Secretary Nalini Netto, had alleged there was a “sinister intention” behind her “resolute refusal” to implement the court’s direction and sought strict punishment against her.

Senkumar, who is due to retire on June 30, had also urged the court to extend his tenure as state police chief for the period which was illegally taken off from him.

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