Special Correspondent

Criminal contempt proceedings against police officers

CHENNAI: K. Radhakrishnan, Additional Director-General of Police, Law and Order, and former Chennai Police Commissioner, and two other police officers have filed petitions in the Madras High Court, seeking to dispense with their personal appearance on December 18 in connection with criminal contempt proceedings against them.

Passing orders on October 29 on petitions relating to the police-lawyers clash on the High Court premises on February 19 this year, a Division Bench, comprising Justices F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla and R. Banumathi, had said that a prima facie case had been made out against four officers — Mr. Radhakrishnan; the then Additional Commissioner, Chennai, A.K.Viswanathan; Joint Commissioner, North, M. Ramasubramani; and Deputy Commissioner, Flower Bazaar, Prem Anand Sinha — that they had caused obstruction in the administration of justice.

The Bench said contempt proceedings should be initiated against them. It ordered issue of contempt notice to the officers for their appearance before the court.

In his petition, Mr. Radhakrishnan stated that he never intended to show disrespect to the High Court or in any manner to obstruct the administration of justice.

He submitted there “is an imminent possibility of a grave law-and-order problem arising once again on the court premises if I were to appear in person” before the court. Police personnel entering various court premises in Chennai had to face severe acrimony for quite a long time after the High Court incident. “It is my apprehension that my presence inside the High Court campus may once again ignite trouble and lead to unrest on the High Court campus and outside too.” He prayed the court to dispense with his personal appearance, pending disposal of contempt proceedings. Mr. Ramasubramani and Mr. Sinha also filed petitions seeking to dispense with their personal appearance.