Kochi: The High Court on Wednesday upheld the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Ernakulam bench, dismissing a petition filed by DGP T.P. Senkumar challenging the government decision to remove him from the post of state police chief.
A division bench made it clear that the state is the appropriate authority to take a decision. “Displacement of Senkumar ordered by the state government is based only on the subjective satisfaction of the government, who is the appropriate authority in this regard,” the court said.
It is for the state to appoint any DGP of its choice, subject to merit and eligibility as mentioned in section 18 of the Kerala Police Act. “It can never be stated as an instance of mala fide or due to the change in the ruling front,” the court held.
Senkumar argued that his replacement was made without consulting the State Security Commission. The court observed that the provisions of Kerala Police Act did not envisage any such situation. The idea and understanding of the petitioner that such a consultation was necessary with the Security Commission before his displacement was not correct, it said.
“No such consultation was made when the petitioner was appointed to the post of state police chief as per order dated May 22, 2015. No panel of names/candidates was prepared to assess the comparative merits. Admittedly, there was a senior officer by name Mahesh Kumar Singhla who was not considered. By virtue of the scheme of the statutes, it is for the state government to appoint any DGP of its choice subject to merit , eligibility as mentioned in section 18 of the Act,” the court held.
The government submitted that the former state police chief was protecting the delinquent officers in the Puttingal fireworks tragedy and that he was callous and insensitive to the investigation into the Perumbavoor rape and murder case.