‘Very disturbing trend’, SC on use of sedition law on suspended IPS officer

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Thursday orally pointed out at a disturbing trend, where police officials siding with the party in power, later getting targeted when the another political party comes into office.

Chief Justice said, “When a political party is in power, police officials side with it… then, when a new party comes into power, the government initiates action against those officials. This is a new trend, which needs to be stopped”.

The bench also comprising Justice Surya Kant further added that this is a very disturbing trend in the country and the police department is also responsible for it.

The top court made these observations while granting protection from arrest to a suspended senior ADG rank-officer, Gurjinder Pal Singh, against whom two criminal cases — sedition and amassing disproportionate assets — have been filed by the Chhattisgarh government.

The top court directed the police not to arrest Singh in the cases for now. However, it directed Singh to cooperate with the agencies in the ongoing investigation.

Senior advocate F.S. Nariman appeared for the suspended police officer and senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Rakesh Dwivedi appeared for the state government.

The city police have registered a sedition case against Singh based on a written complaint filed by the anti-corruption bureau, which reportedly seized alleged documents from him, which indicated of a conspiracy against the government.

The top court directed the state government to file its reply to the two separate petitions within four weeks, and asked the police not to arrest Singh in the meanwhile.