The Madras High Court has initiated on its own contempt proceedings against Tamil Nadu Director General of Police (DGP) and his nine subordinates after finding they had failed to adhere to principles laid down by the Supreme Court while effecting an arrest.
Justice S M Subramaniam, who initiated the proceedings, directed the Registry to number the contempt proceedings and issue notice to the 10 persons. Since it is a civil contempt committed by the authorities with reference to the orders passed in D K Basu case by the SC, the contempt proceeding is directed to be listed before this Court, the judge added.
S Rajarethinam of Tirunelveli was an advocate and a social activist. He conducted a large number of cases about human rights violations in various courts.
At the midnight of November 3, 2015, when he was going through some case papers and when his family members were asleep, the police forcibly entered his house and took him to the police station without any authorisation to do so. In the process, his wife and daughter were abused.
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He was produced before the Magistrate through a senior lawyer, who ordered treatment to the injured advocate. He was admitted to the Government General Hospital the very next day.
He also moved the Madras High Court to take appropriate departmental action against the cops, who were involved in his arrest and beating. During the pendency of the petition, he died and his legal heirs were permitted to pursue the case.
The Additional Advocate General objected to the petitioner’s contentions by stating that all necessary actions were initiated without any lapses. The DGP and the subordinate officer had placed the cops concerned under suspension and the inquiry was completed. RDO inquiry was ordered and the report was submitted, thereafter an FIR was registered and the probe was conducted and a final report was filed on November 7, this year, a week ago.
The judge pointed out that no progress was made in respect of the departmental disciplinary proceedings for the past about 5 years. No charge memo under the Tamil Nadu Police Subordinate Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules was issued so far and no final order has been passed.
A mere warning memo was issued.
“A perusal of the records placed before this court reveals that the approach of the police officials are lackadaisical and the long delay has been taken as an undue advantage and even now, the actions initiated were not pursued in accordance with the statute and rules in force.”
“By keeping the matter pending for long years, the authorities competent may not form an opinion that they can bury the issues. The public authorities are expected to act spontaneously and swiftly as required under the law. Competent authorities/police officials violating the orders of the Supreme Court/Rule of law must be subjected to further actions by following the procedures as contemplated. Inaction will result in losing trust in the system in the public domain,” the judge said and initiated the contempt proceedings, on Monday.