Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday stayed the direction of the Central Election Commission to transfer police officers "en masse." Justice Pius Kuriakose issued the interim stay while admitting the writ petition by Kerala Police officers Association (KPA). The court directed the government to put off transfers till February 10. The association had approached the High Court complaining that the order was ‘unwarranted’ and the commission had no jurisdiction to issue it.
The commission had by an order of Dec 19 last year, directed to transfer police officials who had completed three years of tenure in a station as well as those who are serving in their own home districts in view of the coming elections to the state assembly. The Petitioners pointed out that the Tamil Nadu government had taken a strong stand against the EC direction and it had decided not to comply with the order. Justifying its order, the EC stated that for a free and fair election, transfer of the police officials was necessary.