HC direction to govt on providing police protection

The Madras High Court bench has directed the state government to take a decision on providing round-the-clock police protection for political functionaries.

Madurai: The Madras High Court bench here has directed the state government to take a decision on providing round-the-clock police protection for political functionaries with "criminal background", applying the same yardstick to all.

Disposing of a petition filed by K Kalaivanan, a DMK functionary, Justice D Hariparanthaman said government had given police protection to an AIADMK activist, one Senthil Kumar, who also had similar background, and did not object when he filed a plea seeking police protection. The same yardstick should be applied here also.

Kalaivanan filed a plea seeking direction to the police to provide protection apprehending threat to his life and members of his family. The petitioner`s brother Poondi K Kalaiselvan was killed in 2007 due to political rivalry.

According to the petitioner, his family faced threats and he was given police protection during DMK rule. After the AIADMK came to power, it was withdrawn.

The Superintendent of Police refused to consider his plea for protection, he alleged and hence he moved the court.

The special government pleader submitted that Kalaivanan was a history-sheeter, who was detained under the Goondas Act by the Thiruvarur district collector. The petitioner might misuse police protection if provided, he said.

Kalaivanan, however, contended that police provided protection to Senthil Kumar, one of the accused in his brother`s murder based on a High Court judgment.

There is no answer from the special government pleader on the "silence" of the State in providing protection for Senthil Kumar, Justice Hariparanthaman said.

"Had there not been an order in favour of Senthil Kumar, who is leading another criminal gang, I would have no hesitation to reject Kalaivanan`s writ petition?," the judge observed.

"A person with criminal background cannot have advantage because of his political power over another person or gang. Hence, I am inclined to issue a similar direction, as in the case of Senthil Kumar," he added while directing Thiruvarur SP to consider Kalaivanan`s representation seeking police protection.

The judge also directed the court registry to send a copy of the judgement to the Chief Secretary and the Home Secretary to decide on providing protection for politicians with "criminal background”.