Suspended police officers asked to approach Madras High Court

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court Tuesday asked two senior Tamil Nadu police officers, suspended after a Madras High Court order for allegedly ordering cane-charge on lawyers in court premises, to approach the high court itself to plead against their suspension.

Chennai Additional Commissioner of Police A.K. Vishwanathan and Coimbatore’s Deputy Inspector General of Police Rama Subramanian, both senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers had informed the apex court that the high court had directed the state government to suspend them without hearing them.

This violated the principles of natural justice, they said in their plea to the apex court and argued that their suspension was illegal as they were not given opportunity to present their case.

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan, however, asked them to approach the high court itself, after the various advocate bodies of Tamil Nadu, including the Madras High Court Bar Association, submitted to the high court that they would not oppose the police officers’ plea for revocation of their suspension.

The high court had ordered the suspension of Viswanathan and Subramanian for allegedly ordering cane-charging on a mob of lawyers in the high court premises Feb 19.

The lawyers had gone berserk as they stopped police from arresting one of their colleagues for assaulting Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy in a courtroom Feb 17.

The lawyers had hooted Swamy in the courtroom for making a personal appearance to argue one of his cases pending in the court, on a day when the lawyers were on strike in the state.

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