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Setback to govt as SC directs to reinstate former DGP Senkumar

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Setback to govt as SC directs to reinstate former DGP Senkumar
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday directed the Kerala government to reinstate former Director General of Police (DGP) T P Senkumar, saying he was transferred from the post "arbitrarily".

The apex court set aside the order of the Kerala High Court which had upheld the Central Administrative Tribunals (CAT) decision that had not found fault with the state governments decision to transfer Senkumar from the post of the state police chief.

"We direct reinstatement of DGP T P Senkumar," a bench comprising Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.

The Kerala government had on April 11 defended in the apex court its decision to transfer Senkumar, saying he had protected "erring" police officials in the 2016 Puttingal temple fire tragedy in which 110 people were killed.

The state government had told the court that Senkumars transfer was not a punishment for the "lapse" which had led to the April 10, 2016 incident but it was for how he had handled the fallout of the tragedy.

On April 10 last year, when Senkumar was Keralas DGP, there was an explosion leading to a blaze after a fireworks display went awry at Puttingal Temple in Kollam district. 110 people had died while over 300 were injured in the incident.

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