KOCHI: The state government on Monday approached the Kerala High Court challenging the single judge’s order to pay a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh to the eight-year-old girl who was publicly harassed and insulted by an officer with Pink Police at Attingal, Thiruvananthapuram. The single judge had also directed the government to pay her a litigation cost of Rs 25,000.
In the appeal, the government submitted the single judge had wrongly invoked Public Law Remedy Jurisdiction to award compensation to the child in a case where the facts are strongly disputed by the state. The government submitted that the official with the Pink Police was not acting as a police officer though she was in uniform. She was trying to locate her own phone, and acting virtually as a judge, jury and executioner in her own case, the government said.
“If the police officer was actually acting not as an officer of the state, but her own, fastening the state with the liability to pay compensation is illegal. There was no intention on her part to implicate and humiliate the child and her father in public view or to use disparaging coloured remarks. The entire conversation of the officer was with the father of the child and none of the rights of the child has been infringed,” the state submission said.
The single judge was wrong to rely heavily on the visuals downloaded from social media that have no authenticity, the government said. “There was absolutely nothing on record to show that the police officer had used abusive language or humiliated the petitioner intentionally.
The single judge had exceeded jurisdiction and proceeded to adjudicate the claim on the basis of uncorroborated and unsubstantiated statements of witnesses. The single judge ought not to have granted compensation on the sole reason that the girl had started crying on the intervention of the police officer,” argued the state.
Inhuman, says Sudhakaran
State Congress president K Sudhakaran has termed the state government’s decision to file an appeal in the division bench in the Attingal Pink Police case as ‘inhuman.’ He said that the decision to challenge the single bench order awarding Rs 1.5 lakh as compensation to the child was against the violation of natural justice. In a statement here, Sudhakaran said that people should understand the politics behind the appeal where a girl child studying in third grade is being targeted by the Pinarayi government.