The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Kerala government to reinstate former Director General of Police TP Senkumar who had been transferred “arbitrarily”, PTI reported. The apex court set aside an order of the Kerala High Court that had upheld the Central Administrative Tribunal’s decision backing the Left Front government’s move to transfer Senkumar.
“We direct reinstatement of TP Senkumar,” a bench comprising Justices MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.
On April 10 last year, when Senkumar was Kerala’s top police officer, a fireworks display had caused a massive fire at the Puttingal Temple in Kollam district. A total of 110 people had died and more than 300 had been injured in the accident. Senkumar had then been accused by the Left Front government of trying to protect police officers responsible for security lapses at the event, and had been made the Chairman and Managing Director of the Kerala Police Housing and Construction Corporation. Senkumar was replaced as the Director General of Police by Indian Police Service officer Lokanath Behera.
Senkumar, who had been appointed to the post by the Oommen Chandy-led United Democratic Front government in 2015, had almost a year of service left when he was transferred. He challenged the decision in the Supreme Court.
On April 11 this year, the Kerala government had defended its decision to transfer Senkumar. The state government had told the court that his transfer was not a punishment for the “lapse” that had led to the temple tragedy, but for how he had handled the event.
Senkumar said the verdict would help other officers like him and thanked his legal team for backing him, News18 reported.