panel submitted report in ipS officer’s case, TN govt tells HC
Chennai: The internal complaints committee (ICC) has completed its enquiry and submitted a preliminary report to the government on the sexual harassment complaint of a woman IPS officer filed against suspended Tamil Nadu special DGP (law and order), the state informed the Madras high court on Wednesday.
A L Somayaji appearing for the state as special senior counsel made this submission to the first bench of chief justice Sanjib Banerjee and justice Senthil Ramamoorthy. The court was hearing a plea by a former additional SP of special branch CID, R Kuppusamy who sought the case to be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). During the hearing, advocate Abdul Saleem, representing the suspended DGP informed that the accused had appeared before the ICC and CB-CID so there was no necessity for a CBI probe. The court disposed off the writ petition stating that it didn’t require a central agency probe since the CB-CID is also investigating the case which is being monitored by a single judge bench of justice N Anand Venkatesh.
The chief justice however directed the state counsel to ensure that the investigation is free and fair. The Tamil Nadu government had set up a six-member ICC on February 25 after the woman officer had complained to the state DGP, J K Tripathy.
A day later, the state directed the CB-CID to also take over investigations. On March 23, the CB-CID had informed the court that it would submit its final report within eight- weeks. Justice Venkatesh who had taken suo motu cognisance of the case to monitor its probe expressed that he was satisfied with the progress made based on the case diaries and submissions of the investigating officer. Statements of two accused policemen and 87 witnesses had been recorded in the case while CCTV footage was under analysis.
The CB-CID had registered an FIR against two accused- the special DGP and SP of Chengalpattu district under sections 354-A(2) (sexual harassment) and 341, 506(1) under the IPC and section 4 of the Tamil Nadu prohibition of harassment of women Act 1998. The complainant had said that the special DGP sexually harassed her while they were on duty for chief minister Edappadi Palanswami’s tour. The investigating agency is also probing the role of the SP in preventing her from filing a complaint by stopping her vehicle and bringing in a posse of policemen and a special strike force at the Chengalpattu toll gate on February 22.