SC stays Karnataka HC’s non-bailable warrant against DGP

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the Karnataka High Court order, issuing a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against state Director General of Police for not showing up to give explanation in a transfer case of a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who has claimed that he had been transferred 30 times in 24 years.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant, took up the appeal of the Karnataka government after finishing matters listed for the day and then stayed the operation of the High Court order, passed on February 18.

The High Court had sought explanation from DGP Praveen Sood on the plea of DSP S.S. Kashi, who has said that he has been tranferred 30 times in 24 years. A non-bailable warrant was issued against the DGP after he failed to appear in the court.

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Sood, an IPS officer of 1986 batch, was appointed the DGP on January 31, following superannuation of incumbent Neelmani Raju.

“It is submitted that the impugned order failed to even consider the fact that the petitioner (Sood) has just taken charge of the post of Director General and Inspector General of Police, State of Karnataka only in the month of February and as such the petitioner cannot be even remotely be held liable for any transfers of the writ petitioner over the period of the last 24 years”, said the state government in the petiton.

Earlier in the day, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Karnataka government, sought urgent hearing on the matter contending that quite an “unusual” order has been passed by the High Court issuing NBW to the state Police Chief, and directed it to be executed through the Home Secretary.

The High Court passed the order on the petition of DSP Kashi, who had challenged the December 16, 2019 order passed by Karnataka State Administrative Tribunal, rejecting his application as it held that the employee concerned had no vested right or interest to be posted on a particular place/post.

Kashi moved the High Court against this order on February 11,which directed the state to file the DGP’s response on or before February 14. When the matter came up for hearing on February 18, the seniormost police official was not present in the court.

“On the date in question, the petitioner (Sood) was held up because of the fact that both Houses of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly were discussing the issue regarding the incident of police firing at Mangaluru during the course of the day. The petitioner along with the team of his officers were occupied in furnishing the relevant information to enable the government to prepare the reply in the Assembly,” said the petition.

The petiton contended that by the time the petitioner had received the necessary communication and was preparing to reach the court, the judge on the bench had risen for the day after passing the NBW.

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