The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to pay a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh to a police Head Constable who was made to suffer many years because of the incorrect statements given by some senior police officials during an earlier round of litigation.
“In view of the act of the officers, the State alone is liable to compensate the complainant,” a Division Bench consisting of Justices D.Murugesan and P.P.S.Janarthana Raja said.
The Bench observed, “Before parting with this order, we are constrained to observe that while the government is defended by their officers, such officers should approach the court with fair mind and understanding that they are only assisting the court in the process of defending the government.” They should put forth only the true facts which were reflected in the records. Any deviation in the statements contrary to the record would amount to filing of a false statement before the court and would obviously result in interference with the administration of justice.
They should also not forget that every law-abiding citizen expected that justice alone should win and any attempt to tamper the judicial process would necessarily result in destroying the very judicial system itself.
In his petition, G.Rajaram, belonging to Scheduled Caste, working as a Head Constable in the Anna Salai police station here, filed a petition seeking to punish the respondents (T.K.Rajendran and Bholanath) for not complying with a court order dated July 14 last year which gave certain directions to the respondents. By this order, passed on a revision petition, a Division Bench had directed that the petitioner should be considered for promotion as Sub-Inspector. It should be done within 30 days. By an order dated October 1 last year, the petitioner was informed he was not selected as he had not secured the lowest cut-off mark for selection to the post of SI. The petitioner contended that in view of the false details given by the respondents, he lost his case in an earlier round of legal battle. He prayed for a compensation of Rs.50 lakh.
The Bench said the respondents being administrators and the executives of the State would be certainly entitled to defend the government in litigation before the court. “That does not mean that such a defence can extend to file a counter affidavit contrary to the records.” The officers who were only in the capacity of persons assisting the court should be not only fair to the litigant, but also to the court.
Any statement made by way of counter affidavit which was not in conformity with the records would certainly amount to incorrect, rather false statements. If any proceedings were disposed of by way of passing adverse orders against the person who had approached the court on those statements, it would amount to interference with the administration of justice on the one side and for award of compensation to such person who was visited with such orders on the other side.