Accused of stealing by cop, 8-yr-old moves Kerala court; gets relief of 1.5 lakh

Published on Dec 22, 2021 07:17 PM IST
The petitioners, an 8-year-old girl and her father, had moved the court two months ago seeking compensation of 50 lakh from the government for humiliating them in public in Attingal (Thiruvananthapuram) on August 27.
The Kerala High Court on Wednesday ordered a compensation of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1.50 lakh to a minor girl and her father who were accused by a woman police officer of stealing her mobile phone. (PTI FILE PHOTO.)
The Kerala High Court on Wednesday ordered a compensation of 1.50 lakh to a minor girl and her father who were accused by a woman police officer of stealing her mobile phone. (PTI FILE PHOTO.)

In a setback to the state government the Kerala High Court on Wednesday ordered a compensation of 1.50 lakh to a minor girl and her father who were accused by a woman police officer of stealing her mobile phone.

The single judge bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran also imposed 25,000 as the cost of the legal expenses and directed the government to take disciplinary action against the police officer.

The petitioners, an 8-year-old girl and her father, had moved the court two months ago seeking compensation of 50 lakh from the government for humiliating them in public in Attingal (Thiruvananthapuram) on August 27.

“We cannot let our daughters grow up in anger; immediate remedial steps should be taken. No one can dispute her Fundamental Right under Article 21 to lead a dignified life,” the judge observed while delivering the verdict. Earlier the state government had opposed their plea and insisted that there was no need to pay any compensation to them.

The court also recorded that it expected the State to rise in defence of the petitioner since she was ‘its daughter’ as well. It expressed its disappointment at the refusal of the Kerala government to acknowledge the trauma she had gone through and ordered relief for her. The court also said disciplinary action should be taken against the officer.

The incident occurred on August 27. The little girl along with her father had gone to see a gigantic cargo being shifted by road to Vikram Sarabhai Research Centre in the state capital. The pink police was part of the police deployment to control the public. When the pink police officer misplaced her mobile phone she accused the little girl and her father, who were standing near the police vehicle, of stealing it. Both were questioned in public by the officer and the girl broke down while she was being frisked.

But a few minutes later, the phone was recovered from the police jeep and the police team left the scene immediately without tendering an apology to the petrified girl. Later the video of the police officer questioning the duo went viral. After the video went viral the police officer was transferred and asked to undergo a short stint of behavioural training. Later both moved court seeking compensation. Though the police officer tendered an apology both the girl and her father refused to accept it.

Earlier while hearing the petition, the court asked the state government what it proposes to do to assuage feelings of an 8-year-old girl and her father who were accused of theft by a woman police officer in public so as to ensure her faith in humanity and police. The court made many such observations and even pulled up the state police chief for trying to defend a fellow officer.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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