What is India
Kanchi police chief has
no regard for law or
truth, says High Court
man running the case against the Kanchi seer was once denounced by the High
Court as a barbarian. His track record is full of dark deeds that would put
hardcore criminals to shame
K N Arun
Petitioner has no regard for law or truth.
The role played by the police officers in this case would make this court
think that these officers have behaved like barbarians without giving any
respect to human dignity, that too with the ladies.
It would be shameful to find that a person like the petitioner has been
allowed to work in the police department.” The petitioner so denounced was
none other than Superintendent of Police K. Premkumar, the crusading officer
From the time he was a
sub-inspector in Madurai in the eighties, through his days as Deputy
Superintendent of Police to the late nineties when he was promoted to the post
of Superintendent of Police, Premkumar has had little patience for the rule
book and his high-handedness has shocked his superi
His beginnings were appropriately ominous.
When he was only a sub-inspector in Vadipatti in Madurai district he took
upon himself the job of evicting a tenant of a fellow policeman.
The ex-serviceman tenant, Nallakaman decided to dig in his heels.
But he had failed to take into account Premkumar’s interest in the case
and had to pay for his costly mistake.
On February 1, 1982
Nallakaman, his wife and son were beaten up at the Vadipatti police station by
Premkumar and his colleagues. The
head of the family was then handcuffed and paraded on the streets and dragged to
the Vadipatti bus stand. To top it
all, a criminal case was registered against the hapless Nallakaman on charges,
including attempt to murder. Public
outcry followed, an RDO inquiry was ordered and the report confirmed all the
allegations. Finally, the
Usilampatti RDO filed a criminal complaint against Premkumar and three others.
Premkumar himself was placed under suspension.
Meantime, the case filed
against Nallakaman, the one filed by the RDO against Premkumar and a private
complaint preferred by Nallakaman himself dragged on in the Madurai District
Interestingly, Premkumar took
the Group-I services examination during the period, emerged successful and was
appointed Deputy Superintendent of Police.
At one stage, he was also
successful in having the Madurai proceedings quashed by the Madras High Court,
but the Supreme Court reversed the ruling and directed that all the three cases
be tried together and disposed of by March 31, 1995.
Premkumar moved up the ladder
fast, nevertheless. As
Superintendent of Police, he was perhaps unhappy that he should be bothered by
the likes of Nallakaman and moved the Madras High Court to quash the proceedings
against him, but it was his petition that was dismissed with costs.
While Premkumar had alleged
that Nallakaman was stalling the trial, Justice Karpagavinayagam held that the
cases had indeed been stalled by Premkumar and the other accused policemen and
that the officer had shown disrespect to the Supreme Court and the High Court. The judge noted that the Madurai court had issued as many as
13 non-bailable warrants against Premkumar between September 1995 and March
2000, but none of them was executed. The
judge also expressed dismay that the police officer should have “disrobed the
saree of the woman teacher (Nallakaman’s wife) at the police station and
attempted to remove her thali (mangalya sutra).”
The judge went on to wonder
how Premkumar came to be promoted so rapidly when his first appointment as DSP
itself was temporary and subject to the issue of the Madurai trial.
But Premkumar seems to be having the last laugh now, emerging as a
dashing officer who does not flinch before the might of a prestigious Mutt.
If in June 2002, Justice
Karpagavinayagam was appalled by what Premkumar had done as a sub-inspector at
Vadipatti, more revelation were to follow barely fur months later.
John Joseph, a Christian
priest of Marthandam in Kanyakumar district and a key accused in the Gilbert Raj
murder case, moved the HC against the brutal treatment meted out to him and two
other co-accused, Sister Wiselin Femina Rose and Sister Sahayarani Jeyamary.
The priest had been brutally beaten up and the sisters stripped and
molested by Premkumar and another DSP Paneerselvam.
Directing a CB-CID inquiry
into the allegations, the judge recorded in ghastly detail the testimonies of
the two sisters: “Premkumar, DSP, came near Sahayarani and removed her saree
and petticoat and threw them at the corner of the room.
Then he also tore the blouse and pulled her breasts.
Premkumar, DSP, took his lathi and fisted on her stomach as well as on
her private parts.
At the same time,
Panneerselvam, DSP, similarly removed the saree of Femina Rose.
After tearing the blouse, he
pulled her breast and fisted on the chest with lathi.
Joseph John and Gnanakan, father of Femina Roase (who were also present)
prostrated before Premkumar, DSP, and Panneerselvem, DSP, requesting them not to
outrage the modesty of the ladies. They
also said that they would give any statement as they dictated…”
Premkumar was pardoned under
the Probationary Offenders Act in the Nallakaman case by the Madurai Sessions
Court, in effect holding him guilty. But
in the Kanyakumar case, no attempts seem to have been made by the CB-CID to
launch prosecution against him despite a division Bench of the High Court and
the Supreme Court upholding the single judge’s order.
article appeared in The New Indian Express