May,1,2015: The Madras high court has stayed contempt proceedings against commissioner of police S George and Chennai district collector E Sundaravalli.
Earlier, passing orders in a contempt petition, Justice C S Karnan had asked the state government to consider transferring both officials.
The case pertained to T Elangovan of Pattalam who filed a petition on May 5, 2014, seeking directions to police to investigate his complaint that the house of six dalits living near B&C Mills in the city had been demolished by Land Mark Housing Projects.
Three days later, the petition was dismissed with a direction to Elongovan to submit a fresh complaint before the assistant commissioner of police, Pulianthope.
After receiving the complaint, a case was registered in the P-1 Pulianthope police station under provisions of SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989 by inspector of police Frank D Ruban.
Investigations found that the complaint was false. The case was dropped and a final report was submitted to a magistrate court in Egmore.
Elangovan then filed two writ petitions seeking the court to investigate the case under SC&ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and rehabilitate the mill employees.
The court dismissed both petitions saying it was not a case pertaining to practising untouchability and oppression of SCs.
Elangovan then filed a petition in Egmore metropolitan magistrate court against the final closure report.
Even as the appeal was pending, he filed a contempt petition in the high court. Justice Karnan then initiated contempt proceedings against the two officers.
In his affidavit, commissioner of police S George said the petition was without a clear charge of commission of contempt—willful and deliberate violation of an order with other relevant particulars. As such, the petition could not have been admitted.
Police had followed the order of the court and investigated the case in accordance with law. So, the finding that there was negligence and lack of service was "highly misconceived and baseless."
"The non-application of mind on the part of the single judge is fortified by the fact that the names of the officers did not correspond to their actual names."
The police commissioner was referred as K George, district collector as Saundarya and inspector of police as Rubeen Raj. As there was no prima facie case against the officers, the court could stay the contempt proceedings, said the affidavit.
The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Jutice T S Sivagnanam stayed the order and posted the matter for further hearing on July 2. TOI