Thursday, October 29, 2009

HC hauls up four Chennai cops for court violence

Chennai: Identifying four IPS officers, including former Chennai city police commissioner K Radhakrishnan, as being squarely responsible for the violence on Madras High Court (HC) campus on February 19 this year, a division Bench on Thursday ordered disciplinary and contempt of proceedings against them. To ensure unbiased proceedings it’s for the government to place these officers under suspension, it said.

The Bench held that the four officers — Radhakrishnan; the then addditional commissioner AK Viswanathan; the then JCP (north) M Ramasubramani and the then DCP (Flower Bazaar) Prem Anand Sinha — were guilty of “imprudent acts,” which undermined the authority of the judiciary and obstructed the administration of justice.
“We are mainly concerned with fair and unbiased inquiry. Continuance in office of the officers, who were responsible for the police excess, may prejudice the inquiry. Having regard to our conclusion that the officers are responsible for the excess committed and obstruction to administration of justice, to enable fair and unbiased inquiry, it’s our considered view that it will be in order for the state government to exercise its discretion by placing the above officers under suspension pending disciplinary proceedings,” the Bench, comprising Justice FM Ibrahim Kalifulla and Justice R Banumathi, said. Referring to the advocategeneral’s statement that the government would “scrupulously carry out” the directions of the court, the Bench said, “We are convinced that the state will take note of our observation in proper perspective and leave no stone unturned to fulfil the objective in the interest of justice.”
The Bench was passing orders on a batch of petitions relating to the unprecedented violence involving police and advocates on the Madras HC campus on February 19, which left scores of lawyers and policemen injured and several vehicles damaged. The trouble started when cops tried to arrest lawyers in connection with an attack on Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy, who was pelted with eggs inside a court hall two days earlier.
The Bench on Thursday ruled that there were overwhelming material to show prima facie that the actions of the four police officers caused obstruction to functioning of courts.

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