The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its order on a plea by former Director General of Kerala Police T.P. Senkumar against his transfer as the Chairman and Managing Director of Kerala Police Housing Construction Corporation.
The bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta reserved the order on conclusion of arguments by the former DGP and the Kerala government, with the latter telling the court that there was no mala fide intention behind the transfer as it was an administrative decision.
Justifying the transfer of Senkumar, the Kerala government said that he had failed to perform to the satisfaction of the state government and there was dereliction of duty on his part in the aftermath of Kollam temple fire tragedy, in which 210 people had lost their lives.
The state government also cited the police response in the wake of suicide by a student Jishnu. The bench was told that in the case of Jishnu suicide, he did not handle the matter as was expected of the head of the state police.
Senior counsel Harish Salve, who appeared for the Kerala government, told the bench that as the head of the state police, he failed to prevent the fire tragedy in Kollam temple which claimed 110 lives.
However, senior counsel Dushyant Dave and counsel Prashant Bhushan disagreed with Salve and told the court that Senkumar was transferred within a few days of the Left Democratic Front government coming to power.
They told the court that it was a political decision by the government and former DGP was made a scapegoat for the lapses on the part of the administration.
The former DGP told the court that as per the top court judgment on police reforms, the DGP of a state must have a fixed tenure of two years, but in his case it was curtailed and he was shunted out.
However, this position was contested by the state government, which told the court that the top court verdict in Prakash Singh case relating to police reforms was essentially to insulate the police force from political meddling.
The court was also told that although reforms provided for fixed two-year term, the same could be curtailed on administrative grounds.