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IPS officer sexual harassment case: SC ends Madras HC’s monitoring, expunges its observations

One August 2, the Madras High Court had ordered day-to-day trial of the case, and directed the Villipuram Chief Judicial magistrate to complete the proceedings before December 20, 2021 and submit a compliance report.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
Updated: August 19, 2021 12:55:50 pm
The Supreme Court of India. (File)

The Supreme Court Wednesday ended the Madras High Court’s involvement in the sexual harassment case filed by a woman IPS officer against former Special DGP Rajesh Das and has expunged some of the observations it made in the case.

A bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and Ajay Rastogi further said that the trial court in Villupuram should proceed with the case “purely based on its own merits without being influenced in any manner” by a series of orders passed by the high court.

On August 2, the Madras High Court had ordered a day-to-day trial of the case and directed the Villipuram Chief Judicial magistrate to complete the proceedings before December 20, 2021, and submit a compliance report.

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by the suspended officer seeking transfer of the trial out of Tamil Nadu as he feared the HC orders would affect his chances of a fair trial. Das was accused of sexual harassment by a woman IPS officer in February 2021 and was suspended after the incident came to light.

Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi, representing the former Special DGP, said, “There was no occasion and necessity for the High Court to take suo moto cognizance in the matter and keep monitoring the progress of the matter.”

“It is made clear that the charges may be framed by the concerned Court in accordance with law and not purely as a result of the directions issued by the High Court,” the Supreme Court said.

“With these directions, the suo moto Writ Petition stands disposed of as, in our view, no further monitoring is called for,” the court added.

In light of the Supreme Court’s order, Das, through his counsel, agreed to withdraw the transfer petition.

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