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[2/23, 11:07] Sekarreporter: Dept. head in police force has suo motu power of review: HC: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/dept-head-in-police-force-has-suo-motu-power-of-review-hc/article30892331.ece [2/23, 11:07] Sekarreporter: Full Bench settles matter after conflicting judgments by Division Benches The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has ruled that under Rule 15 A of the Tamil Nadu Police Subordinate Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1955, the Head of the Department has the authority to exercise suo motu power of review after an order is passed by a subordinate authority. After a larger Bench was constituted by the Chief Justice to resolve the issue following conflicting judgments by different Division Benches of the High Court, a Full Bench, comprising Justices S.S. Sundar, R. Subramanian and N. Sathish Kumar, answered the referred question in the affirmative. [2/23, 11:07] Sekarreporter: The court was hearing an appeal preferred by the State government against a Single Bench order. A charge memo was issued by the Chennai Joint Commissioner of Police (South), against C. Vijaya Baskar, a policeman, under the Rules for serious charges in 2011. An inquiry was conducted and the charges were said to be proven. A punishment of censure by order was imposed on the policeman. Later, the punishment of censure was deferred for six months. Subsequently, the Commissioner of Police, Chennai, set aside the order of punishment. The Commissioner used his power of review without any appeal having been filed by the policeman. Under these circumstances, about eight months later, the Director General of Police issued a show cause notice, asking why a penalty should not be imposed on the policeman. It was said that the show cause notice was issued using the power of suo motu review under Rule 15 A of the Tamil Nadu Police Subordinate Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules. The policeman filed a petition before the court, and a single judge ruled that the DGP had no power under Rule 15 A to review the punishment for the second time. The State preferred an appeal against the order of the Single Bench. The issue in contention was whether there can be a review of a review. The court said that in the present case, the inquiry officer had found the charges against the policeman to be proven. The disciplinary authority had imposed a punishment. However, this order was set aside without considering the merits by exercising the power of suo motu review. Confirming that the DGP had the power to review this order, the court said that it cannot be concluded that the Head of Department had no authority to exercise the suo motu review after an order was passed by a subordinate, exercising such a power. The court allowed the appeal. The court also gave an opportunity to the policeman to reply to the show cause notice within a period of three weeks. On receiving the explanation from the policeman, the DGP shall pass orders on merits and in accordance with the law within a period of six weeks, the court said.