KOCHI: AS the Police Department faces severe criticism for going soft on police personnel who have been accused of criminal offences, State Police Chief Loknath Behera has come out against the suspension revocation process being followed in the department, that enables guilty police personnel to get back into service soon.
“On scrutiny of the working of the Suspension Review Committee procedure, it is noticed that at times police personnel placed under suspension in connection with grave delinquencies are reinstated within short intervals of time by different authorities, which leads to negative impact on ongoing investigation/inquiry connected with the incidents,” according to a directive issued by Behera.
Behera also made it clear all revocation of suspension orders should be finalised only after consultation with the state police chief. “It is hereby directed that the ‘Suspension Review Committee’, while considering the cases of suspension of police personnel on grounds of grievous failures in duty like custodial death, custodial torture, acts of corruption and moral turpitude shall examine the issues involved with due caution,’’ DGP said.
“Besides, the Suspension Review Committee shall mandatorily inform the details to the state police chief prior to finalising the decision to revoke/continue the suspension so that the due process of justice goes unhindered,” the DGP said.
While a section of police personnel has expressed displeasure over the new directive, police personnel with the Kerala Police Association (KPA) have welcomed the move.
“Earlier, a centralised committee comprising top officers in the rank of ADGPs used to review the suspension orders, but only recently range/ district-level committees were entrusted with the task of reviewing the suspension orders. This has given way to favouritism. It’s good to reinstate the centralised review process,” said G R Ajith, former secretary of the Kerala Police Association.