Madras High Court stays order that invoked principles of karma to grant relief to police constable

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday stayed a Single Bench order that had invoked the principles of karma and directed the State to post a police constable, facing disciplinary proceedings, as traffic police within Madurai district instead of transferring him to Thoothukudi district.

A Division Bench of Justices P. Velmurugan and K. Kumaresh Babu stayed the order passed by a Single Bench while hearing the appeal preferred by the State. The State said that since joining the police department, the policeman, R. Srimurugan, was continuously showing habitual and vindictive attitude towards senior officers and showed scant respect to the established norms of discipline.

In her verdict delivered in September, Justice S. Srimathy observed that the petitioner Srimurugan was in the uniform service and the transfer was incidental to government service. But, the transfer order has traces of punitiveness. Moreover, the petitioner was already undergoing punishment and receiving a meager salary.

Even for the criminal act, the punishment was based on the reformative theory. Therefore, by invoking the principles of karma, the court was inclined to grant relief to the petitioner, the judge said. “In the principles of karma the “Sanchita karma” (entire karma) is apportioned as “Prarabdha karma” (portion of the karma) and the punishment is imposed to undergo only for the “Prarabdha Karma” (portion of the karma)”, the judge observed.

The Single Bench had directed the State to post the petitioner as a traffic police within Madurai district. The hearing in the appeal preferred by the State was adjourned.

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