In a major embarrassment to the Left Democratic Front government, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Friday stayed the suspension of controversial Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tomin Thachankary and ordered his immediate reinstatement.
The development is likely to widen the crack within the faction-ridden CPI(M) state unit.
Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has sought an explanation from Advocate General (AG) Sudhakar Prasad.
The CM’s office had reportedly sent a counter-affidavit to the AG’s office carrying all charges against the IG. However, this was not presented before the CAT, thus weakening the government case.
The IG was suspended last week for going abroad without the permission of the state government. There were allegations that he visited the Gulf to oversee the arrangements made for CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan’s ongoing visit.
Pinarayi is on a three-week visit to the Gulf to raise money for a memorial for former chief minister E.K. Nayanar.
When the issue came up, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, also a Politburo member, was not keen to take strict action against the top cop. But the CM summoned the chief secretary to his office and asked to take action against the IG.
Soon after his suspension the IG approached the CAT, claiming he was a victim of the factionalism in the CPM. He said that at least six top IAS/IPS officials had gone abroad in similar manner, but no action was taken against them. The CAT found that departmental procedures weren’t adhered to and stayed his suspension.
Blaming factionalism for the fiasco, PCC chief Ramesh Chennithala said: “The government has lost collective responsibility. It is sad the CM’s directive are sabotaged quite often.”