CHENNAI: The woman Superintendent of Police, who on August 4 lodged a complaint with the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), alleging she was sexually abused by its IGP-ranked joint director, has moved the Madras High Court with a criminal original petition to transfer the officer to any other non-sensitive post, pending inquiry.
Unable to tolerate the advances and harassment at the hands of the IGP, she said she lodged an oral complaint with the DVAC director on August 3 and submitted a written complaint the next day, explaining the series of events, under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act.
She came to know on August 6 that a meeting was held by the director regarding constitution of an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) in terms of the Act pursuant to her complaint. Since she was acting as the chairperson of the existing ICC in the DVAC, she requested the director to appoint another senior officer as chairperson, considering the fact that the accused is in the rank of IGP. She had also expressed her apprehension that the continuance of the officer in the same office would impair the probe since her colleagues and other staff may be afraid of deposing against the top officer.
The IGP’s continuance in the post would make any inquiry ineffective as the witnesses who need to testify in the inquiry would all be working under him and it would be unreasonable to expect that they would act independently and testify before the ICC, she contended.
Justice Satrughana Pujhari admitted it and ordered notice to the DVAC returnable by September 11.
In a separate petition, she challenged the constitution of the present ICC, as it had no external independent member and wanted the court to quash the same and direct DGP to reconstitute it in accordance with the Act.
The ICC constituted by the DGP consists of Seema Agarwal, presiding officer, Su Arunachalam, PC Thenmozhi, S Saraswathy and VK Ramesh Babu.
Admitting this plea also, the judge directed the petitioner to implead the existing ICC too as a party respondent to the case.