The Kerala High Court said that the woman police officer wrongfully accusing the girl of theft had violated the minor’s fundamental rights.

Kerala news: Visuals of the incident where a minor girl and her father who were wrongfully accused of theft in public by a pink police officer.IANS
news Court Wednesday, December 22, 2021 - 18:55

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday, December 22, directed the state government to pay Rs 1.5 lakh to a minor girl and her father who were wrongfully accused of theft in public by a pink police officer. Stating that the girl suffered trauma at the hands of the police and that this incident was a violation of the girl’s fundamental rights, the high court also directed the state government to pay Rs 25,000 to the child as cost of litigation.

Justice Devan Ramachandran also directed initiation of disciplinary proceedings against the errant officer in question. The court said that till the disciplinary proceedings are initiated and concluded, the officer shall be kept away from duties which would require her to interact with the general public and further directed that she should be given necessary training on interpersonal behaviour.

With these directions, the court disposed of a plea filed by the 8-year-old girl, seeking a direction to the government to take stern action against the officer for infringing her fundamental right. She had also sought Rs 5 million as compensation, but the court said the amount awarded by it was sufficient and the petitioner was entitled to seek higher damages under the civil law.

The court also said that the petitioner and her father can proceed with any other litigation they may want to initiate against the officer.

Earlier, the Kerala government had tried to defend the police officer, claiming that she, who was a part of the 'Pink Patrol' meant to enhance safety of women, had not misbehaved or done anything that could have caused mental agony to the little girl. The state in the report claimed that there was no material on record to show that the girl was humiliated. 

However, the Kerala High Court refused to accept this report. “"According to you (state), the child was not humiliated and she started crying because of the ridicule by the crowd. A new spin is being created by the state. It is a good spin, a googly,” the Kerala High Court had said. 

Also read: Kerala HC trashes state report defending police officer who insulted a child and father

The incident occurred on August 27 when Attingal resident Jayachandran reached Moonumukku with his eight-year-old daughter, who wanted to watch the movement of a massive cargo to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thumba. Rajitha, the woman Pink police officer, was deployed to assist in traffic regulation and she accused the duo of stealing her mobile phone that was kept in the police vehicle.

In a video which went viral, the officer and her colleague were seen harassing the father and the daughter and even frisking him. The child broke down amid their harassment. However, when an onlooker dialled the number of the officer, the mobile phone was found in the police vehicle, following which the police team left the scene without even tendering an apology to the father and the daughter. 

As part of a disciplinary action, the woman officer was transferred and the State police chief directed her to undergo behavioural training. The court had earlier said that the incident occurred as the officer was "drunk on power." It had said that the pink police officer's conduct indicated "pure ego and arrogance of the khaki."

With PTI inputs

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