Supreme Court seeks records on T P Senkumar's transfer

Mr Senkumar was transferred because of people's dissatisfaction with the police force.

New Delhi: With the Kerala government justifying the transfer of of former DGP T.P. Senkumar, to the Kerala Police Housing and Construction Corporation within two days of LDF assuming charge, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the state to make available on April 10 the records relating to his transfer. A bench of Justices Madan Lokur and Sanjay Kishan Kaul passed this order after hearing senior counsel Dushyant Dave and Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Mr Senkumar assailing his removal and senior counsel Harish Salve for Kerala. The Bench asked Kerala to file an affidavit giving a status report on the judicial enquiry commission into the Kollam temple fire tragedy on April 10, 2016.

At the outset Mr Salve said when the new government assumed office, there was anti-police sentiments due to the fire tragedy. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi who visted the accident site asked the authorities “What’s all happening here.” Mr Senkumar was transferred because of people’s dissatisfaction with the police force. Mr Salve also accused Mr Senkumar of not acting on intelligence reports and then trying to cover up the probe. “Sometimes captain of a ship will have to sink with the ship,” he said justifying the transfer.

Referring to the government’s stand that Mr Senkumar was removed because of political murders during his tenure, counsel wondered whether the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will take "responsibility" for the 11 political murders that occurred in the state under his watch. Mr Senkumar, who was removed within two days of the current LDF government taking over, asked if he is seen "responsible" for the sensational Jisha murder case in Kerala, will Mr Vijayan take responsibility for the 11 political murders as he is also the home minister of the State.

Counsel submitted that his removal from the top police post was guided by sheer political motives and in violation of apex court judgment in Prakash Singh’s case which fixed a minimum ensure of two years for DGP. Any removal of them should be done by the state government in consultation with the State Security Commission under the Kerala Police Act of 2011. Mr Dave said there should be “some semblance of law. I have an outstanding record. Counsel alleged that he was displaced immediately after declaration of the result in the general election to the assembly held in 2016 as a measure of political vendetta.

He said Mr Senkumar’s transfer had affected the police administration in the state which can be seen from the escalation of political murders in Kerala from June 1, 2016, afterwards. He prayed for quashing the transfer order. Mr Salve, however, said the file on Mr Senkumar had started moving before the LDF government came to power. "It was only continued action," he said and added that there was no need to consult the State Security Commission as this was not a case of "removal" as alleged, but transfer. The Bench posted the matter for further hering on April 10.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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