Delivering a sharp message, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Thursday said that police officials siding with the ruling party, and then being targeted by the Opposition, was a disturbing trend in the country.
“This is a very disturbing trend in the country and the police department is also responsible for this… When a political party is in power, police officials take side of the particular (ruling) party,” the bench said.
“Then when another new party comes into power, the government initiates action against the police officials. This needs to be stopped,” it added.
The remarks came while granting protection from arrest to a suspended senior IPS officer against whom two criminal cases for offence of sedition and amassing disproportionate assets have been filed by the Chhattisgarh government.
The CJI-led bench directed the state police not to arrest its own suspended senior IPS officer Gurjinder Pal Singh in the cases. It however directed Singh to cooperate with the agencies in the ongoing investigation.
The bench, also comprising Justice Surya Kant, directed the state government to file its responses to the two separate petitions within four weeks during which the police officer will not be arrested.
Senior lawyers F S Nariman and Vikas Singh appeared for the suspended police officer and the state government was represented by senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Raeksh Dwivedi. Two cases pertaining to the offence of sedition and for amassing disproportionate assets respectively have been lodged against Singh by the Congress-led Chhattisgarh government.
Singh filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the high court order. On Thursday, the apex court granted the suspended officer interim protection from arrest for four weeks, while directing him to cooperate with the agencies in the ongoing investigation.
The Supreme Court bench has directed the Congress-led state government to file its responses in the two separate petitions within four weeks.