Kerala reinstates Senkumar after SC slaps fine

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday night reinstated T.P. Senkumar as the police chief, hours after the Supreme Court fined Rs 25,000 for disregarding its order to restore him his post.

According to informed sources, the order signed by Vijayan will be handed over to Senkumar on Saturday, when he is likely to make his triumphant return as the state police chief.

Senkumar was moved out of the office the day Vijayan assumed office in May last year.

Reacting to the turn of events, Senkumar told reporters that he would speak at an appropriate time.

Senkumar will replace Loknath Behera, who will now the Vigilance Department, while the present Vigilance chief Jacob Thomas has extended his leave.

On Friday morning, the apex court, hearing a clarification petition about its orders of April 24 directing the Vijayan government to reinstate Senkumar as the Director General of Police, slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 for wasting the court’s time.

The court said they knew what to do if its orders were not implemented.

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

The next hearing in the case will take place on May 9.

The opposition targeted the Chief Minister.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala told reporters 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.”

State BJP President Kummanem Rajasekheran said the fine of Rs 25,000 should be taken from the salary of Vijayan. “Vijayan has to quit and this situation has risen just because of his arrogance.”

Trying to put up a brave face, senior CPI-M legislator Raju Abraham said the government had already made it amply clear that Senkumar would be posted and it filed a clarification petition just to get clarity.

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

Senkumar is set to retire on June 30.