The Madras HC on Wednesday shifted the probe into the sexual harassment complaint filed by a woman superintendent of police (SP) against DVAC joint director S Murugan out of Tamil Nadu & handed it over to Telangana.
A report is to be submitted by the Telangana police to the HC in 6 months.
“We are conscious of the fact that the inquiry & investigation out of a state isn’t envisaged under the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act. But, looking to the nature of positions of both the parties, nature of allegations…we are inclined to ensure complete fairness & independence in the internal enquiry as well as the investigation in the First Information Report (FIR),” said the division bench of Justice Vineeth Kothari & Justice C V Karthikeyan on Wed.
The bench directed the chief secretary of Telangana as well as the Director General of Police (DGP) to undertake necessary steps for constitution of a separate internal complaints committee (ICC) in Hyderabad, headed by a senior lady officer. The complaint as well as First Information Report (FIR) filed shall be probed by a senior & independent official of Telangana police. “The report of internal complaints committee (ICC) & the report on investigation of the First Information Report (FIR) may be transmitted back to this HC within 6 months,” the bench added.
The HC passed the transfer order despite opposition from the Tamil Nadu govt on whose behalf advocate-general Vijay Narayan argued that the state’s image might be adversely affected if such transfer was ordered. Murugan also protested the proposal to shift the case out of Tamil Nadu.