The Kerala High Court on Thursday lashed out at Additional Director General of Police (Crimes) S. Sreejith for filing an affidavit accusing the court of passing orders on a writ petition by the former driver of fake antiquities dealer Monson Mavungal based on information from public domain.
Justice Devan Ramachandran made the observation while dismissing an application filed by the ADGP seeking to close the writ petition by the former driver of Monson alleging police harassment.
‘To force a result’
Terming extremely disconcerting the action of the police officer, the judge observed that the application was intended ‘to browbeat the court and force a particular result.’
The court orally observed how a high-ranking police officer dared say that the court was passing orders based on the information on the public domain and breaching the confidentiality of the investigation. If a police officer came to the court, made such allegations, and got away with it, it would be ‘the darkest times for the system.’
On ‘exemplary cost’
Rapping the officer for making submissions of ‘an overbearing and recriminatory tenor’ in the affidavit, the court said it would have been justified in imposing an exemplary cost on the officer to compensate for judicial time spent on the application. However, the court ‘chooses not to do so solely being aware of its repercussions’ on the police officer.
The judge said that no one could dictate to the court how and in what manner it was to be decided. They could make their case through pleadings and submissions but could never insist that the court deliver judgment in the manner they wanted.
The court observed that the application by the police officer was unusual and never seen before in other cases, ‘but surely filed with a design in seeking that the court disposes of the writ petition in a manner’ as he wanted to.
When the affidavit said that there was no material before the court to show the involvement of an association of expatriates in the fake antiquities case, the material placed affirmed that the former State Police Chief and the Additional Director General of Police were introduced to Monson by a woman residing in Italy who is the coordinator of an expatriate association.
The court observed that the affidavit of the police officer said that no material was on record to prove the allegations against high ranking police officers when it was admitted by the State Police Chief in his affidavit that an Inspector General of Police had been suspended for his alleged nexus with Monson and that the then State Police Chief and an Additional Director General of Police made an unscheduled visit to the residence of Monson in 2019.
The court also termed unfortunate the submission in the affidavit that any open discussion or consideration of critical information would provide undue advantage to the accused and investigation would be put to peril. The court was only acting strictly based on material and documents placed on record by the respondents themselves.