Tamil Nadu Advocate General R Shanmugasundaram on Thursday, November 9, produced in the Madras High Court the report of the Internal Committee (IC) that was constituted to probe the alleged sexual harassment of a woman IPS officer by a suspended DGP. The AG submitted the report in a sealed cover to Justice V Parthiban when the writ petition by the suspended special DGP came up for further hearing. The judge adjourned the matter till December 17.
The petition prayed the court to quash the proceedings that had been conducted so far by the IC and order a proper inquiry after following due process of law and in accordance with the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act. When the matter came up earlier on October 22, Justice C Saravanan had then ordered maintenance of status quo in respect of the proceedings pending before the IC. He adjourned the matter by four weeks, with a direction to the State file its counter by then.
Following a complaint from a woman IPS officer on February 22 this year that she was allegedly sexually harassed by the suspended officer, the IC was formed to inquire into the allegations.
In his writ petition, the official alleged that two members of the IC were biased against him. The committee had submitted its report to the state government on April 8 without holding enquiry in a proper and unbiased manner. He also claimed most of the witnesses were subordinates to the complainant and they could not depose freely.
Hence, he prayed for the transfer of the complainant too to some other place. But, this request was also not considered. Based on the IC's report, a charge-memo was issued to him on May 31. He has said that a copy of the IC's report was not furnished to him. As such the entire proceedings are vitiated and liable to be struck down, he claimed.
Meanwhile, as directed by the court, a counter was filed on behalf of the state DGP refuting all the contentions of the accused official.
The DGP rank official had allegedly sexually harassed another IPS officer in February while he was travelling in the same car with her. In her complaint, the woman official alleged that he held her hand, kissed it and made inappropriate comments to her. The incident allegedly took place in Karur on February 21, 2021. On learning that she was going to file a complaint, he then ordered Chengalpattu Superintendent of Police (SP) Kannan to stop her from doing so.
In her complaint, the woman alleged that 10 to 15 police personnel in Chengalpattu, led by SP D Kannan, Rural Inspector Suresh and Sub-Inspector Manikandan, stopped her vehicle. They allegedly blocked the car, threatened her PSO (personal security officer) and attempted to make her speak to the DGP rank oficial on the phone.