Ex-CM, officials too guilty: SC

  • Dismisses Kerala plea of inaction against Senkumar

The Supreme Court on Monday said if T.P. Senkumar deserved to be removed as Kerala DGP for inaction against errant police officers in the Puttingal fire tragedy, the same logic should have applied to former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and senior State bureaucrats, right from the Chief Secretary.

A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Dipak Gupta said the then Chief Minister was equally to be blamed for ineptitude.

“In our view therefore, if the appellant (Senkumar) failed to take any action against the errant police officers, the entire official machinery starting from the Chief Minister down to the Chief Secretary and the Additional Chief Secretary are equally to blame,” Justice Lokur observed in a 56-page judgment.

The court noted how the file recommending action against three police officers was sent directly to the then Chief Minister on April 13, 2016.

“It must be noted that for more than one and a half months the Chief Minister took absolutely no action on the Note dated April 13, 2016, but just seems to have kept it in his office,” the court observed.

The Pinarayi Vijayan government came to power in May, 2016.