BANGALORE: Additional Director-General of Police P Ravindranath clandestinely took pictures of a woman sitting in a cafe, the CID has concluded.
It has filed a chargesheet, a copy of which is available with Express, and submitted it to the government and the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court.
The CID has based its conclusion, among other things, on a report from the Forensic Science Lab, Ahmedabad, where Ravindranath’s phone was sent.
Ravindranath took the pictures, described in the complaint as ‘obscene’, at a cafe on Cunningham Road on May 26, and got into a scuffle when he was confronted by an eyewitness.
Before filing the 294-page chargesheet, the CID examined 38 witnesses, the victim, and cafe employees.
Over the next five days, Ravindranath denied he had clicked the pictures, claiming his rivals in the police department had hatched a conspiracy. He also filed a caste atrocity case against the then Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar.
Bangalore remained gridlocked for hours soon after the scandal broke, with Ravindranath’s supporters blocking traffic in Koramanagala.
All over a cup of coffee
At 10.45 am, Ravindranath walked into Au Bon Pain, a coffee shop. He asked the waitress to get him a coffee, a magazine and some chocolate. He used his debit card to pay, but it didn’t work. When the cafe staff asked him to wait, he sat at a table near the glass door. The victim, a freelance journalist, was seated with a friend at an adjoining table. Ravindranath took out his Nokia mobile phone and clicked photos of the victim, the investigation has concluded.
Ravindranath was charged under Section 509 of IPC which says, “Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman... intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.”
Earlier, in the FIR, he had been booked under Section 506 (criminal intimidation) and Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty). Those sections have been dropped in the charge-sheet.
As Ravindranath went from one Kannada TV channel to another, claiming he was innocent, the government transferred him from the Karnataka State Reserve Police to the office of the Director-General and Inspector-General of Police. He enjoys all official privileges to this day, despite the investigation confirming his guilt.
DG&IG Lalrokhuma Pachuau told Express the CID had submitted the report and it was now up to the government to act.
Senior criminal advocate M T Nanaiah said the victim could write to the Chief Secretary as the government had not taken any action against Ravindranath even after her charges were proved. If nothing moves for three months, she could file a petition in the High Court. The case pending in court does not come in the way of departmental action or suspension. Express tried contacting the victim but she was not reachable.