The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court challenging the directions issued by the Madras High Court in the case relating to the clash between lawyers and the police on the court campus on February 19.

The High Court in its judgment on October 29 held four senior police officers – the then Chennai Police Commissioner, Radhakrishnan, the then Addl. CoP, A.K. Viswanathan, the then JCP (North), Ramasubramani, and the then DCP, Flower Bazaar Prem Anand Sinha responsible for the incident and the police excess in violation of statutory provisions. It asked the State government to initiate appropriate disciplinary proceedings against these police officers and proceed with them in accordance with law.

The court said to enable fair and unbiased enquiry, it would be in order for the State government to exercise its discretion to place them under suspension pending disciplinary action.

Assailing the judgment, the State in its SLP filed through its counsel T. Harish Kumar said the SLP raised substantial questions of law of general public importance, viz whether the jurisdiction to maintain public order vested with the State was subject to the control of the High Court; whether the High Court was right in imposing conditions for maintenance of public order within the High Court, intruding into the Executive powers; whether it was right in holding that prior permission was required for mobilising police force and for taking effective steps to avoid any law and order problem on the High court campus, especially when the campus comprised many public offices and was visited by thousands of people everyday and declared as a high security zone.

The SLP also raised whether the High Court was right in directing the statutory authority to exercise the discretion in a particular manner when the statutes vest discretionary power upon an administrative authority. In this case, the police officers had acted in good faith to maintain law and order situation on the High court premises. There was no conspiracy and it was a spontaneous decision taken by police officials who were present in the scene of occurrence.

The SLP said the High Court having earlier directed a CBI probe in respect of the February 19 incidents erred in giving a finding on various issues, which affects the fair enquiry by the CBI and the one-man Commission. The CBI enquiry will become a farcical formality as it cannot give any finding in the report contrary to the order passed by the High Court.

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