BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Friday upheld the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order quashing the appointment of Shankar Bidar as DG & IGP while describing his acts as chief of STF, formed to nab forest brigand Veerappan, as worse than dictators like Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein.
Dismissing the petitions filed by the government and Bidari questioning the CAT order, the division bench headed by Justice N Kumar maintained that the petition lacked merit and substance, while announcing that the empanelment of Bidari’s name by UPSC and the consequent appointment was void and illegal.
The bench’s description of Bidari as worse than Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi for alleged atrocities by the STF led by him from 1993-94 came after Bidari’s reply saying he was not Saddam or Gaddafi to behave like a dictator. Badari replied that he was working under four ADGPs, two DGPs and two states and “if I am found guilty, all were responsible”.
The bench said this showed Bidari’s mentality and that this was the height of arrogance. “Persons like him must not hold the state’s top police post,” the bench said.
The court said that since the government had given Rs 5 crore compensation to people on the basis of the NHRC report, it shows that the government clearly accepted that there was violation of human rights in the Veerappan operations. According to the NHRC report, when Bidari was heading the operations, 66 people were beaten up badly and 36 of them died. The report said there were fake encounters, gang-rapes and harassment of daily wagers and tribals.
The bench said the government did not place these facts before the UPSC but only submitted before it that Bidari had worked with efficiency in a critical situation by arresting 126 Veerappan aides and booking 58 cases.
After the judgment, the government moved a memo before the bench for a stay. The bench, however, said if the government had any respect for the judiciary, womanhood and safety of the tribals, it should cancel Bidari’s appointment and appoint A R Infant, otherwise they are answerable to the people of the state.