Tuesday, September 16, 2008 18:50 IST
MADURAI: The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday directed three inspectors, who opened history Sheets (Rowdy list) in respect of three petitioners from various parts of Tamil Nadu, without any justification, to pay Rs 5000 towards cost of their litigation, within four weeks.
Justice K Chandru, allowing writ petitions filed by S Vani of Tiruppatur, Ganesan of Ayyampettai,and E S V Pandian of Manur in Tirunelveli district, condemned the action of the Inspectors in opening the History sheet on flimsy grounds.
"Opening of History sheets are arbitrary, unreasonable and whimsical and it will amount to denial of right of citizens provided under the Constitution."
The Inspectors did not justify their action though the court had given them opportunities. He also criticised their superior officer for not overseeing the records and acting in 'a mechanical fashion' to affix their initials periodically to extend the petitioners' names in the list.
On the demand for compensation of Rs Two lakh made by Vani and Rs three lakh made by Pandian for including their names in the list,he said the court was not ordering any compensation. "But we feel the officials should not be allowed to go scot free. Hence this court directs them to pay Rs 5,000 each as cost to the respective petitioners."
The Judge said if the inspectors did not pay the amount, the respective Superintendents of Police should do so from the department fund and deduct it from their salaries.
In the case of Ganesan (DMK), who was a panchayat president and Pandian (Congress) who belonged to the opposition parties when the case was filed, notings in the history sheet book were changed when they became ruling party members. Yet the continuance of surveillance did not cease.This showed that the respsondents hardly had any regard for the privacy of any individual and notes were without any scruples in such history sheets, the judge said.
Vani submitted her name was included in the history sheet on the basis of a confession made by an accused, though she was acquitted in a case, her name was in the list since 2005.
Ganesan contended that the inspector foisted a false case against him due to personal animosity, while pandian said his name was included as he pointed out the 'misdeeds' of the SI.
In all the cases, police did not file any counter in spite of several adjourníents. The reasons given by them in the Note put up to include the names had no factual basis. Officials who endorsed them did so mechanically, the judge said.