Shankar Bidari gets HC jolt; Karnataka govt gets a slap in the face
May 29, 2012
Shankar Mahadev Bidari’s wish to retire as the state police chief has been shattered.
The high court on Monday —after going through the National Human Rights Commission Report (NHRC) and the Sadashiva Panel Report— dismissed his plea to reconsider its earlier order, which had quashed his appointment as the Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG and IGP).
The division bench— headed by Justice N Kumar—dismissed Bidari’s plea while making extensive references to the Sadashiva Panel Report. The Sadashiva Panel Report had documented several atrocities committed against tribal people and women when Bidari was the head of the Special Task Force (STF), constituted to capture the forest brigand Veerappan.
The division bench said that the panel report and the orders passed by the NHRC— which upheld the findings of the report and recommended payment of compensation —constituted as relevant data, which should have been placed before the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) by the state government while appointing a new DG&IGP. But, the bench noted, only a one-sided version of Bidari’s record was sent to the UPSC.
The division bench further observed that an institution is more important than an individual. While empanelling names for the post, Bidari’s experience and style of functioning – when he was heading a small force like the special task force - is very much relevant.
Since the panel report and the NHRC orders were withheld from the UPSC, the empanelment of Bidari by the UPSC was vitiated and, consequently, the order of appointing Bidari as the DG and IGP of the state was also vitiated, the bench observed.
The division bench held that there was a specific reference to Bidari in the panel report, which is in the nature of adverse comment, with respect to his functioning as a commandant of the task force.
The findings of panel said that the allegation of rape of one Lakshmi - committed by the STF - has been proved.
There are references in the panel report indicting that some witnesses had been subjected to torture, including the outraging of modesty by the STF. Similarly, Erammal one of the witnesses, had suffered indignity at the hands of the STF.
The division bench said this meant that the STF commanded by Bidari had committed excesses as set out in the report. The division bench further observed that the apex court’s direction for appointment to the post is not just confined to a candidate who has very good service record.
Not guilty: Bidari
NHRC has not held me guilty nor has not made any adverse remarks against me. So I am at a loss to understand the judgment. I have not yet received the order copy. I will go through the order copy and take suitable action. I will move the Supreme Court only after going through the content.
Shankar Bidari | petitioner
Justice is done: Infant
I am very happy with the outcome of the case. Justice has been done.
AR Infant | DG & IGP