New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Kerala government to reinstate T.P. Senkumar as the police chief, dealing a blow to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Senkumar was removed as Director General of Police on the day Vijayan assumed office on May 25, 2016. The officer is set to retire on June 30.
The Kerala government had justified Senkumar's removal saying he did not do a clean job in the Puttingal temple cracker blast and in the Jisha murder cases.
Senkumar approached the Kerala High Court but failed to get a favourable verdict. He then moved the apex court.
Expressing his happiness, Senkumar, presently the Director of the state-owned Institute of Management, said in Thiruvananthapuram that justice had prevailed and this was a boost to those who work with commitment.
"I take this opportunity to thank my advocates, the media and all those who stood by me in the pursuit of my fight for justice."
Senkumar added: "I will wait for the government to make the next move."
Vijayan told reporters that now that the apex court had given its ruling, "we are waiting for the entire verdict".
"Once that comes, we will do what needs to be done as per the law."
In the assembly, Vijayan had come down heavily on Senkumar, saying he was not fit to head the state police force.
Former Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said the state government should abide by the ruling.
Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, under whom Senkumar served, called it a huge morale booster for the officer and the verdict proved that the cases he probed were investigated in the best possible manner.
Loknath Behra, the current police chief who replaced Senkumar, said he had nothing to say on the verdict. "We are all government servants."