Chennai, Mar 31 (UNI) In a reprieve to the Tamil Nadu government, Madras High Court today said the Election Commission (EC) order transferring Chennai Police Commissioner (CoP) R Nataraj was not binding on it.
Passing orders on petitions filed by the state government and Former DGPs Walter Davaram, Pon Paramaguru and Lakshminarayan, a Division Bench comprising Justice P K Misra and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifullah, however, underscored the EC's powers to issue such direction after the issuance of election notification and added it was open to the government to take appropriate action after consulting the EC on the matter.
It said the impugned communication dated March 14 directing Mr Nataraj to be transferred and the one on March 16 asking the government to submit a panel of three names for appointment to the CoP's post need not be considered a binding direction to the state government.
However, since the EC had ample powers to give such directions regarding the transfer of a police officer after issuance of the election notification, it was open to the state government to take appropriate action in consultation with the EC in the matter.
The Commission had ordered the transfer of Mr Nataraj for allegedly praising Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
UNI XR GM LR BST1222