Kochi | The central government Friday told the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) bench here that guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court should be followed if a state police chief’s tenure of two years has to be reduced. Senior central government counsel Anil Kumar made the submission during the hearing on a petition by senior IPS officer T P Senkumar challenging his removal as DGP after the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front government assumed power in Kerala.
In a top-level reshuffle on May 31 after taking the reins of the state following the assembly elections, the LDF government had shifted Senkumar and appointed Loknath Behara in his place. In his petition, Senkumar has contended that the decision appointing him as Chairman and Managing Director of Kerala Police Housing and Construction Corporation on deputation was illegal. He has also said that as per Section 97(1) of Kerala Police Act and in the light of the Supreme Court ruling in the Prakash Singh case, the tenure of the DGP was two years.
Stating that the post of a state police chief has a specific tenure of two years, Anil Kumar said if it was to be reduced, the state had to follow the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh’s case.
This was applicable in case of degradation of pay of an officer in the rank of Director General of Police (DGP), he added.
The state government informed the Tribunal that the stand adopted by Senkumar in cases related to Puttingal temple fireworks tragedy and muder of a Dalit woman in Perumbavoor lowered the status of police. Refuting the allegations of Senkumar that his seniority was overlooked by the government, the state said he was appointed as state police chief overlooking seniority of his seniors.
After hearing the submissions, a bench comprising judicial member N K Balakrishnan and Administrative Member Padmini Gopinath posted the case to July 1 for further hearing.