Kochi: The Central Administrative Tribunal, Ernakulam Bench, on Friday stayed the government order suspending Inspector-General (IG) of Police Tomin J. Thachankary from service until further orders. The tribunal directed the government to reinstate him in service forthwith.
The interim order was passed on an application filed by the police officer challenging his suspension.
The IG was suspended on the basis of an inquiry report that he had breached service rules by going abroad without permission from the government. He was also accused of misleading the government by indicating that he was going to Gangtok (Sikkim) on leave travel allowance and then undertaking a trip to Gulf countries. The Director-General of Police had not been informed of his travel abroad.
Counsel for Mr. Thachankary contended that the order was illegal and arbitrary. The counsel contended that the IG had gone abroad after he was granted eligible earned leave. The All India Service Rules did not provide for obtaining prior permission before undertaking personal trips abroad. Earlier, there was a government order requiring officers belonging to all-India service to obtain permission before undertaking personal foreign trips. However, this requirement was done away with and the government had clarified that there was no need to get permission for private visits if the officer had been granted eligible leave. The All India Service Rules were applicable to officers.
The counsel argued that Mr. Thachankary had not violated any service rules and his action did not constitute misconduct, warranting a suspension. The suspension order was actuated by mala fide. Besides, ‘hostile discriminatory' treatment was being meted out selectively to Mr. Thachankary. The counsel contended that certain IAS and IPS officers had travelled abroad without permission, but the government had not taken action against them.
Countering the arguments, the special government pleader contended that Mr. Thachankary went abroad without the prior permission of the government. Guidelines issued by the Central government required officers to inform the government concerned of their trips aboard and the source of funds for such trips. Mr. Thachankary had availed himself of leave travel allowance for going to Gangtok, but went to Gulf countries.
He contended that the cases of other IAS and IPS officers could not be equated with the case of Mr. Thachankary.