The sexual harassment probe against an IG-rank police officer in Tamil Nadu, in the case filed by a woman SP, has been shifted to the Telangana police department. This after the survivor had complained that the officer in question was influencing the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).
On Wednesday, the Madras High Court passed an order directing the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu to hand over the documents related to the investigation to the Chief Secretary of Telangana, who will pass it on to the stateâ€™s Director General of Police. The court also ordered that a senior woman police officer from Telangana must lead the investigation and that it must be conducted based on the complaint filed by the woman SP with the ICC and the CB-CID. The court added that the investigation report on the case must be submitted in six months.
It was proposed that the proceedings in the case be shifted out of Tamil Nadu to a neighbouring state or to Delhi since the investigating agencies had reportedly not complied with Justice SM Subramaniamâ€™s directions to reconstitute the Sexual Harassment Committee and conduct a fair probe.
The case relates to the sexual harassment complaint filed by a woman Superintendent of Police in Tamil Nadu against Murugan IPS, the Joint Director of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), in August 2018. Following her complaint, the Tamil Nadu police department hurriedly constituted an Internal Committee in accordance with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. Shortly after she had filed a complaint with the police department, she filed a petition in the high court seeking criminal action against Murugan and asking for him to be shunted out of DVAC because she feared his continuation in the post â€˜would cause prejudice and there is a likelihood of force and influence made in the enquiryâ€™.
The CB-CID registered an FIR against Murugan in September under sections 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), and 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC read with Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 1998. The officer was transferred to the Economic Offences Wing in June.