Madurai: The Madras High Court has ordered the Home Secretary to register a case against city Police Commissioner P Kannappan and five other policemen on charges of malicious prosecution and human rights violation during their tenure in Ramanathapuram district in 1997.
The direction was given on Thursday by Justice R S Ramanathan of the Madurai bench of the court.
The court had allowed a petition filed by S Krishnamurthy seeking action against police officials for allegedly torturing the petitioner and his friend Palani to confess that they had murdered a girl, who was found alive in 2002, five years after the case was registered against them.
The court slammed as "condemnable" the action of the CBI, which had recommended only departmental action despite holding the officials concerned guilty of human rights violations.
The agency had taken up the case in 2007 on the orders of the High Court following a similar petition filed by the petitioner.
The CBI had recommended departmental action against Kannappan, who served as SP of Ramanathapuram district, Inspector Madhavan, Inspector Baskaran, Sub-inspector Dasaratharajan, and Head Constables Rajamani and Samidurai.
The court condemned the Home Secretary for following the recommendation of the CBI report and taking only departmental action against the police officials, instead of taking action for violating human rights.
The court said the Home Secretary had also committed contempt of court by not taking action against the officials as ordered by the court in 2007. The court had in 2007 ordered the Home Secretary and the Director General of Police to register a case in respect of illegal confinement, torture, violation of human rights and malicious prosecution against the erring police officers. It had also asked the Special Crime Branch of the CBI to probe it.
After investigation, the CBI recommended departmental action against the six policemen.
In the departmental enquiry that ensued, the charges against certain officials were dropped while others were issued 'charge memo'. The petitioner was not happy with the government action, and had filed a fresh petition.