An inspector with the Chennai police has been suspended for colluding with those who illegally tapped water from below the ground. According to reports, Commissioner of Police AK Viswanathan submitted before the court that he has directed the initiation of departmental action against inspector Natarajan of Palavanthangal police station, and based on his instruction, the inspector has been placed on suspension.
The commissioner also told the court that this action was being taken on Natarajan for submitting a false and misleading report and also for interfering in the work of the court-appointed advocate commissioner.
The case pertains to a batch of Public Interest Litigations filed seeking action against those who tapped groundwater illegally when Chennai was going through an acute water crisis. While hearing the case, Justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad found that Natarajan had colluded with those who had tapped groundwater illegally in his jurisdiction and hence ordered an inquiry by an advocate commissioner. The court appointed advocate L Chandrakumar as the advocate commissioner to probe the case.
Advocate Chandrakumar confirmed the illegal tapping of groundwater in the area and informed the court that inspector Natarajan had threatened the residents who had complained about the illegal tapping and interfered in his work. The court then handed over the mantle to the commissioner of police to investigate the report filed earlier by the inspector.
The commissioner, however, filed a report giving a clean chit to Natarajan and claimed that the illegal tapping was stopped two months ago. The court, taken aback by the report, slammed the commissioner of police for protecting the inspector and warned him that the probe will be handed over to an independent agency.
It was after this that the commissioner filed a report on Friday, stating that his intention was to ascertain the motive and veracity of the inspectorâ€™s report, and not to inquire into the report submitted by the advocate commissioner.