The Supreme Court of India recently directed the State to reinstate Director General of Police (DGP), Dr. T.P. Senkumar as the State Police Chief. It seems the State Government is in no mood to reinstate the officer. The Kerala Government has informed the Supreme Court that Mr. Senkumar was never appointed as the State Police Chief.
The State Government’s counsel informed the Apex Court that the ‘State Police Chief’ is a distinct and separate post under Section 18 of the Kerala Police Act and Mr. Senkumar 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.
Chances are rare that the Supreme Court would buy this argument. This may probably be seen as a delay tactic in reinstating Dr. Senkumar who is due to retire in June 2017. It should also be noted that the Supreme Court closes for summer vacation on May 9, 2017 and will reopen only on July 3, 2017.
The Apex Court had already come down heavily on the State Government for its appointments. The Court remarked in its judgment, “If that is so and the State Government of Kerala is bent upon making irregular or illegal appointments to sensitive posts, then no one can help God’s own country.”
The notes relating to Chief Minister’s decision to remove Mr. Senkumar, which was later ratified by the Cabinet, read as follows:
“It has been decided to replace the present Director General of Police and State Police Chief in the wake of the fact that his leadership has not been satisfactory leading to serious dissatisfaction among the general public about the efficiency and transparency of the Police Force in the State, especially in regard to the Puttingal Temple Incident and the Jisha Murder case.”
It is clear from the notes that the present Government had removed Dr. Senkumar from the post of Director General of Police and State Police Chief and not from the post of ‘Head of Police Force’. In the coming days, the Government will be having a tough time in the Supreme Court and will find it difficult to take back its own words.
The present move is likely to invite more wrath from the Apex Court for adopting delay tactic in implementing its judgment. A separate review petition has also been filed by the State challenging the Supreme Court judgment directing to reinstate Dr. Senkumar. This is most likely to be considered only after the Court reopening in July.