Bangalore: In a scathing verdict,Karnataka High
court on Friday struck down appointment of Shankar Bidari as state
DGP and IG, describing him as "worse than Saddam Hussain or
Muammar Gaddafi" for alleged atrocities committed by the STF
led by him during the hunt to nab forest brigand Veerappan.
Dismissing as "without merit and substance", petitions by
the government and Bidari, challenging the CAT order, the
division bench headed by Justice N Kumar held his empanelment
by UPSC and consequent appointment as "void and illegal."
Upholding the verdict of Central Administrative Tribunal
the court said "in the facts of the case, we cannot find any
infirmity in the said decision. It is just".
It struck down Bidari`s contentions "absolving himself of
the responsibility" of atrocities by stating he was only
Deputy Commander of the Joint Task Force of Karnataka and
Tamil Nadu to nab Veerappan and not "omnipresent and
omnipotent like Saddam Hussain or Muammar Gaddafi."
"Though he was not one of them, if what the two women
(tribals) have said in their affidavit is true, he is worse
than them" (Saddam Hussain and Muamar Gadaffi),the court said
in its acerbic observations.
The court directed the government should relieve Bidari
forthwith and appoint A R Infant in his place. "Otherwise they
are answerable to the public of the state".
The court dismissed the memo filed by the government
seeking a one week stay of the order. It observed "if the
state government has any respect for the rule of law,
womanhood, human rights, concern for the downtrodden, tribals,
and socially backward communities of the state, they should
relieve the third respondent (Bidari) forthwith and appoint
the applicant (A R Infant) in that place."
On March 16, CAT had set aside Bidari`s appointment as DGP
and IG and ruled that Infant should be appointed ad hoc police
chief till the government decides on the new appointment.
CAT said government should prepare a fresh list of senior
IPS officers and send it to UPSC, which would suggest three
names for the top post.
On the court verdict, Infant said "I am lucky that my
case was tried by judges with great conviction, both at CAT
and High Court. I admire their courage of conviction".