Madras HC slams TN govt, asks why special DGP not suspended in harassment case

Justice N Anand Venkatesh said suspending the special DGP should have been the first thing the government should have done.
A representative image of sexual harassment
A representative image of sexual harassment
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The Madras High Court on Friday indicted the State government for not suspending a former Special DGP, accused of sexually harassing a subordinate woman IPS officer, saying it should have been the first thing to have been done."Why has the special DGP not been suspended till date? That is the first thing you should have done. You have suspended the SP who waylaid the victim, but not the Special DGP," Justice N Anand Venkatesh said.

The judge posed the questions when the proceedings, initiated by him last week on his own, came for further hearing on Friday.

Only then SP (Chengalpattu), who allegedly tried to stop the woman SP while she was proceeding to Chennai to lodge a sexual harassment complaint against the accused, had been suspended, on the directions of the Election Commission of India.

"He was only an arrow. The bow is the Special DGP,who has not yet been suspended", the judge bemoaned and asked what was the impediment in taking the said action against the police officer, since put under 'compulsory wait.'

The matter is at the stage of inquiry. Only after a detailed inquiry will the truth come out, the judge added.

He also praised the media for strict adherence to his earlier restraint order, by not disclosing names of the victim, accused and the witnesses.

The investigation in the case would be closely monitored by the court, he said.

The counsel for the accused officer alleged that one of the members of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) , constituted to probe the case, had commented in a WhatsApp group that he (accused) should be hanged without trial.

Another officer in the committee also happens to be a witness in this case, he pointed out.

"People have reposed confidence in the court and the state in this case. Therefore, it becomes our responsibility to ensure that a free and fair inquiry is conducted," the judge said.

He directed State Public Prosecutor A Natarajan to file the status report by March 16.

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