Thursday, October 21, 2010

Supreme Court refuses to pass order at this stage in Letika Saran case

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to pass any order, at this stage, on the special leave petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government challenging the Madras High Court judgment quashing the appointment of Letika Saran as the State Director-General of Police.

By its October 8 judgment, the High Court had set aside Ms. Saran's appointment on the ground that the Supreme Court directions in Prakash Singh's case had not been followed.

On Thursday, a Bench of Justice D.K. Jain and Justice H.L. Dattu, while declining to pass any order, directed the SLP to be listed on the date fixed by the Registry.

Tamil Nadu Advocate General P.S. Raman submitted that subsequent to the judgment in Prakash Singh's case, the Supreme Court, in May 2008, had constituted the Justice K.T. Thomas committee and it submitted its report to the court stating that most of the States were finding it difficult to implement the directions in the Prakash Singh's case. The UPSC had also filed an application seeking clarification that it was not in a position to do such an empanelment and had sought directions for modalities to be adopted in preparing such panels. Justice Jain told Mr. Raman, “As on today the judgment is in force. The High court has only said that you [State] have to implement the directions. As and when the directions are modified, let us see what we can do.”

Senior counsel Ranjit Kumar, along with counsel Guru Krishnakumar, appearing for R. Nataraj, who had filed the petition in the High Court, submitted that as no order had been passed at this stage the State should send the names to the UPSC. When Tamil Nadu Advocate General P.S. Raman submitted that the High Court had directed the State to send eligible names of Directors-General of Police to the UPSC before October 27 for preparation of a panel, Justice Jain told the AG: “We are not passing any order now. It is up to you to do whatever you want. We are not saying anything.”

Senior counsel C. Aryama Sundaram, appearing for Ms. Saran, submitted that the High Court had permitted other police officers to file affidavits, Justice Jain said, “You [Ms. Saran] file an appeal, we will consider.”

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