CHENNAI: The State Human Rights Commission has ordered Rs 5 lakh compensation for a woman Sub-Inspector of Police, who was allegedly sexually harassed by an ‘influential’ head constable and given punishment transfers when she raised the issue with her higher-ups.
The order issued by commission member D Jayachandran has recommended dismissal of A Senthamarai Kannan, then head constable in the special branch CID in Sivagangai district and initiation of disciplinary action against N Rajasekaran, then Superintendent of Police in Sivaganga district.
The complainant was working as a Sub-Inspector in the Sipcot police station, Manamadurai in 2009 when Senthamarai Kannan, special branch CID head constable in charge of the Manamadurai division of Sivaganga, had allegedly spoken to her with bad intentions and was spreading rumours about her.
She had complained that Senthamarai Kannan had spread rumours that he had brought her to the SIPCOT police station from Manamadurai and that she was her concubine. She also claimed that he had also lurked outside her house in which she was residing with her husband.
The woman SI had also allegedly undergone mental torture at the hands of the then SP Rajasekaran who, she said, refused to accept her complaint about Senthamarai Kannan’s behaviour in 2009 and had asked her father to approach the Deputy Superintendent of Police, instead.
The complainant’s father eventually lodged a complaint with the Inspector-General of Police, South Zone in 2010,with no avail. However, a newspaper reported the issue and highlighted the sexual harassment faced by women police in Sivaganga.
When the then DSP incharge Padmavathy finally called for an enquiry, the complainant claimed to have been threatened for speaking to the press despite her denial. She then received a memo in June 2010 and was allegedly transferred to the Ilayangudi police station as a punishment.
Based on a preliminary report submitted by Inspector General of Police Srilakshmi Prasad, oral and documentary evidences provided and arguments submitted by the counsels, the commission found Senthamarai Kannan guilty of sexual harassment. However, the complainant has failed to prove the
allegations against Rajasekaran.
Rajasekaran was, however, found guilty of causing the complainant mental distress by issuing adverse remarks which led to her transfer from Ilayangudi to Thiruvadanai.
Hence, the commission
recommended dismissal of Senthamarai Kannan and disciplinary action against Rajasekaran based on the findings. It also directed the state government to deduct `3 lakh of the compensation amount from Senthamarai Kannan and `2 lakh from Rajasekaran.
The SHRC has recommended promotion for the complainant after finding the transfers vindictive and has also directed the Director General of Police to take suitable action whenever complaints are received from women police personnel.