Disturbing That Police Often Sides With Ruling Party: Supreme Court

If police officers do not toe the party line, the bench noted, governments often use sedition charges against them.

Listen to this article:

New Delhi: Sedition cases being filed when regimes change is a disturbing trend, the Supreme Court said on Thursday, granting protection from arrest to a suspended senior IPS officer against whom two criminal cases for sedition and amassing disproportionate assets have been filed by the Chhattisgarh government.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana directed the state police not to arrest its own suspended senior IPS officer Gurjinder Pal Singh in the cases. It, however, directed Singh to cooperate with the agencies in the ongoing investigation.

“This is a very disturbing trend in the country and the police department is also responsible for this… When a political party is in power, police officials take side of the particular (ruling) party. Then when another new party comes into power, the government initiates action against the police officials. This needs to be stopped,” the bench said.

“When police officers are working and siding with the party in power then no sedition. But when the party is not in power, then the police officer faces sedition charges. This is a recent trend in the country,” the judges continued, according to Bar and Bench.

The bench, also comprising Justice Surya Kant, directed the state government to file its responses to the two separate petitions within four weeks during which the police officer will not be arrested.

Senior lawyers F.S. Nariman and Vikas Singh appeared for the suspended police officer and the state government was represented by senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Rakesh Dwivedi.

Singh, a 1994 batch IPS officer, had asked the Supreme Court to cancel the FIRs against him.

(With PTI inputs)