Senkumar reinstatement: irate SC fines Kerala Rs25,000

The Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on the Kerala government and fined it Rs25,000 for wasting the court's time by disregarding its order to reinstate T P Senkumar as the state police chief.

The apex court had in April directed the Pinarayi Vijayan government to reinstate Senkumar as the director general of police.

Even as chief minister Vijayan informed the Kerala Assembly that Senkumar would be reinstated, in an apparent delaying tactic, the state filed a clarification petition. It was this that irked the apex court and led to the fine.

The court said it knew what to do if its orders were not implemented and there was no issue of clarity in its judgement.

In a contempt petition filed by Senkumar saying that chief secretary Nalini Netto was delaying his posting, the division bench asked for notice to be served on the state government.

The next hearing in the case is on 9 May.

Now with all doors closed for Vijayan and the contempt petition posted for next Tuesday, legal experts say the state government has no choice but to post Senkumar at the earliest.

As soon as the news of the SC ruling broke, the Congress-led United Democratic Front raised the issue on the floor of the assembly and demanded that Senkumar be posted without delay.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala later told reporters in the assembly complex that all this happened because of the "false ego of Vijayan".

"If he has any self-respect left, he should resign and apologise to the people. It's only the state government which has not understood the apex court's orders asking for the reinstatment," Chennithala said.

Trying to put up a brave face senior legislator of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) Raju Abraham said the state government has already made it amply clear that Senkumar will be posted and it filed a petition ''just to get clarity''.

On 24 April, the Supreme Court had directed Kerala to reinstate the senior Indian Police Service officer as the director general of police.

Senkumar was removed from the post when Pinarayi Vijayan took over as chief minister on 25 May last year.

Reinstating Senkumar, a bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta had said that the officer was dealt with "unfairly and arbitrarily".

Senkumar is to retire on 30 June.