"When a political party is in power, police officials take side of the particular (ruling) party. Then when another new party comes into power, the government initiates action against the police officials. This needs to be stopped," CJI Ramana said.
Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Thursday called police officials siding with the ruling party and later being targeted by the Opposition, when it comes to power, a “disturbing trend” in the country.
The remarks were made while granting protection from arrest to suspended Additional Director General of Police Gurjinder Pal Singh in a sedition case filed against him in Chhattisgarh.
G P Singh was suspended on July 5 after he was charged with corruption and disproportionate assets, following searches by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), and booked on sedition charges a week later. Earlier, the Chhattisgarh High Court had refused to quash the FIR for sedition registered against him and grant any interim relief.
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.
“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. Then when another new party comes into power, the government initiates action against the police officials. This needs to be stopped,” the CJI remarked.
The Chhattisgarh ACB had conducted searches in 15 locations in Raipur, Rajnandgaon and other locations in Odisha linked to G P Singh. In the FIR, police have said the probe agency had recovered documents containing “serious and sensitive information” and “inflammatory pieces of writing against the government and its policy”.
Singh was then charged under IPC Sections 124 A (brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government), and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony).
A separate Income Tax investigation was also launched to probe allegations against Singh of several benami transactions and acquiring of disproportionate assets.
The Supreme Court bench has directed the Congress-led state government to file its responses in the two separate petitions within four weeks.
— With PTI, Live Law inputs
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