Justice C Saravanan granted this injunction on disposing of a plea by R Sathiyamoorthy, a former constable attached to Malliakkarai police station in Attur, Salem. The petitioner prayed for a direction to the government to quash the departmental proceedings and suspension order on his retirement date of June 30, 2017.
“Considering that petitioner had attained the age of superannuation on June 30, 2017, and considering two reports have been given, the respondents are directed to bring a closure to the proceedings within six months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order,” the judge held.
According to the petitioner, he and two other cops were ordered to face departmental proceedings in 2011 pursuant to the death of Murugan, a robbery accused, in Salem Central Prison on April 10, 2009.
“It was stated that the policemen-trio had used force on Murugan while he tried to flee and five months later he died of injuries. However, the inquest report from a doctor stated the accused had a natural death. The same was submitted by the ACP before the Judicial Magistrate No-II, Attur,” G Arunan, counsel for the petitioner stated.
LSM Hazan Fizal, the government advocate, submitted that the criminal proceeding has not been concluded and therefore the question of granting any relief to the petitioner at this stage will prejudice the respondents.
On recording the submissions, the HC granted liberty to the respondents i.e., the police department, that if they accept the inquest report of the Judicial Magistrate-II, they shall drop the proceedings and pay the regular pension to the petitioner.
“If the respondents desire to proceed departmentally, they shall endeavour to complete the disciplinary proceedings within six months,” the judge ruled.
The judge made it clear that if the criminal proceedings result in the conviction of the petitioner, the respondents are free to withdraw the pension under the provisions of the TN Pension Rules, 1978.