Kerala HC seeks govt’s view on compensation to girl ‘harassed’ by woman cop

Kochi, Dec 15 ┬áThe Kerala High Court continued to express its grave concern in the way the state police and government is handling the case of a ‘Pink Police’ official of the state police for her callous behaviour towards an eight-year-old girl and her father whom she accused of stealing her mobile phone and shamed publicly.

The girl had approached the High Court seeking a compensation for the tirades she had faced from the act of Rejitha, the woman police official and Justice Devan Ramachandran said it was justified to grant compensation as sought by the petitioner.

“I certainly propose that compensation should be granted to the petitioner following the Nambi Narayanan verdict (referring to the former space scientist who got exonerated in the ISRO spy case and got compensation). This case is fit for granting compensation to the petitioner under strict liability principle as laid down in Nilabati Behera v. State Of Orissa by the apex court,” he said.

Incidentally, the girl and her father have sought a compensation of Rs 50 lakh.

“But I do not accept the claim for Rs 50 lakh. That is a highly exaggerated amount. Let’s see what figure the state comes up with if, at all, they accede to the prayer,” the judge said.

The court further noted that it was certain that some sort of disciplinary action had to be taken in the matter, rather than a mere transfer and asked the state to inform the Bench of its view on providing public law reparation to the petition and what amount they propose to give as it posted the case for Monday.

This was the fourth time in the past five weeks that the court spoke tough against the acts of both the woman police official and the top brass of the police for not taking any action.

The Pink Police unit of the Kerala Police is an all women team that aims at protecting women in public, private, and digital spaces.

In her petition, the girl stated that despite several pleas, no action was taken against the woman police officer, hence they moved the court for justice and after the trial began they said since they failed to get justice from any quarters, they have rejected the unconditional apology that the erring police official had tendered.

The incident occurred on August 27, when 38-year-old Jayachandran and his daughter were out on the main road in the outskirts here near Attingal to watch the movement of a huge trailer carrying equipment to the ISRO unit.

Suddenly Rejitha, the woman officer finding her mobile missing, accused Jayachandran who was standing near the police patrol vehicle, of stealing it. She even said that he must have passed the mobile to his eight-year-old daughter, his accomplice.

She publicly humiliated the father and the daughter and threatened to take both of them to the nearby police station. This was witnessed by a large crowd.

Later, Rejitha found out the mobile phone in the vehicle. The entire episode was filmed by an onlooker, who shared it on social media and it went viral.

On August 31, Jayachandran approached the state police chief Anil Kant seeking action against Rejitha, as his daughter was in a state of shock for being publicly admonished.

Promising action, Kant, asked South Zone IG Harshita Attaluri to conduct a probe and Rejitha was transferred.

However, it was found out that Rejitha was transferred to a more convenient location and there was actually no action taken against her.

Finding no further action in September, the family observed a day long sit-in in front of the Kerala Secretariat protesting inaction against the woman police officer. When this also went unnoticed, the family approached the High Court.

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