Telecom firm to pay Rs 2 lakh to techie jailed for no fault of his
He was arrested for no fault of his. Now, he will be given monetary compensation to make up for that.
The State Human Rights Commission has ordered telecom major Bharti Airtel to pay Rs 2 lakh to Bangalore-based techie Lakshmana Kailash.
The firm had given incorrect information to the police leading to the innocent man’s arrest, the commission said.
Kailash spent 50 days behind bars, including 20 days after the real culprits were nabbed.
The matter dates back to 2006 when some objectionable content about Maratha warrior Shivaji was posted on community website Orkut.
Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Yuva Morcha, Dhiraj Ghate, lodged a complaint with the Pune police. In 2007, the case was transferred to the then assistant commissioner of police Netaji Shinde.
Bharti Airtel slipped up on some technical details and gave Kailash’s name to the police instead of the real culprit who was later identified as Kirankumar Reddy.
Repeated telephonic and e-mail attempts to contact Bharti Airtel’s spokesperson, Shalini Gupta, proved futile.
Kailash was arrested from Bangalore in September 2007.
Investigations led the police to the real culprit and his two accomplices Nitin Shetty and Manjunath Bettagauda. They were arrested in October 2007 from Bangalore.
When this was published in the media, the rights commission took suo motu notice of Kailash’s plight.
A division bench of the commission comprising chairperson Justice Kshitij Vyas and member Subhash Lalla, however, found fault with the firm.
“The company officials misled the police by providing wrong information without bothering to check required details,” observed the bench, which heard the case.
The commission directed Bharati Airtel to pay Rs 2 lakh to Kailash as a token amount of compensation.
The commission also rapped Shinde. Noting that the police did not have enough evidence to arrest Kailash, the bench said, “Surely, the investigation officer was groping in the dark.”