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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Madras HC dismisses former DGP’s plea to transfer sexual harassment case

Justice P Velmurugan, before whom the petition came up on Wednesday, rejected the plea and directed the trial court to complete the case within three months.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
Updated: October 28, 2021 10:57:59 am
The Madras High Court in Chennai. (File)

The Madras High Court Wednesday dismissed a plea by suspended special Director General of Police (DGP) Rajesh Das, who is a facing sexual harassment charges filed by a woman IPS officer, seeking to transfer the trial from the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) court in Villupuram to the territorial court.

Das, who is accused of sexually harassing a woman IPS officer during a bandobast duty in February, had sought to transfer the case to the judicial magistrate court having jurisdiction on the place where the offence was allegedly committed, and contented that the CJM did not have territorial jurisdiction to hear the case since the alleged offence took place in the areas of Namakkal, Ulundurpet and Chengalpet.

The HC noted that Ulundhurpet and Kallakurichi fell under the judicial district of Villupuram and that the chargesheet was filed by the CBCID before the CJM, Villupuram.

“Considering the facts and circumstances of the above said case, this Court does not find any perversity in the order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villupuram. The petitioner at any point of time, in earlier occasion, has not challenged the power of CBCID to investigate the matter. As per the ROC.No.22250/2009/G4, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villlupuram has got jurisdiction to proceed with the case in C.C.No.231 of 2021 and the said ROC is not violating any statutory provisions. However, no prejudice would be caused to the petitioner,” the HC concluded.

Justice P Velmurugan, before whom the petition came up on Wednesday, rejected the plea and directed the trial court to complete the case within three months.

A complaint was registered by the CB-CID against the officer on February 27. Das was booked under Sections 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman), 341 (punishment for wrong restraint), 506 (i) (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 (prohibition of harassment of woman) and 4 (penalty for harassment of women) of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act.

In a written complaint, the woman officer had claimed the incident happened after she had completed her “bandobust duty” on February 21 in Karur district following the chief minister’s visit there. As the CM’s speech was in progress, the Special DGP told her that she may accompany him in his vehicle to the next meeting place and then allegedly sexually harassed her in Karur. The woman said in her complaint that other police officials tried to stop her from making the complaint and threatened her Personal Security Officer.

— With inputs from PTI

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