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Reprieve for Chennai Police Commissioner

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, Mar 17 (UNI) City Police Commissioner R Nataraj, whose transfer was ordered by the Election Commission of India (EC), today got a reprieve with the Commission giving an undertaking before Madras High Court that it would wait till March 23 to get a panel of names for appointing his successor.

The EC, which directed the Tamil Nadu government to send a panel of three names by this evening for appointing the successor, said pursuant to the letter dated March 16, it would not insist upon the panel until March 23.

Senior Counsel G Rajagopal gave the undertaking on behalf of the EC, when a writ petition filed by the state government and two Public Interest Litigations by former DGPs, W I Dawaram and Pon Paramaguru, challenging the Commission's order on Mr Nataraj came up for hearing.

After recording the undertaking and ordering notice to the EC, the bench comprising Mr Justice P K Misra and Mr Justice F M Ibrahim Kallifullah posted the petitions for further hearing to March 22.

Tamil Nadu Principal Home Secretary Pavan Raina prayed for a stay on all further proceedings in pursuance of the EC's order dated March 14 and to quash the same, pending disposal of the writ petition.

He wanted the court to monitor EC orders/directions if they ran counter to the spirit of Article 162 of the Constitution and if not in accordance with judgements of this court and Supreme court.

The ECI had ordered the transfer of Mr Nataraj, after DMK Union Minsiter A Raja lodged a complaint that he had showered praise on Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and violated the model code of conduct.

After turning down the state government's plea to reconsider the decision, the EC, in an order on March 16, directed it to submit by this evening a panel of three names for appointing his successor.

UNI XR/WS AA VD ND1824

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