A police official who took an elderly woman unnecessarily to the police station nearly nine years ago, following which she committed suicide owing to humiliation, should now pay Rs.50,000 as compensation to her family.
Holding the official guilty of violation of human rights, the State Human Rights Commission has recommended to the State government to pay the compensation to the legal heirs in equal proportion within two months. Later, it should recover the sum from the official, at present Inspector, Arakkonam Town Police Station, who was a Sub-Inspector at the time of the incident.
The Commission’s Acting Chairperson, K. Bhaskaran, passed the order on a complaint from one A.Periyasamy of Aavarangadu, Sivaganga district. The complainant said that on February 2, 2004, V.Ponnambalam, the then Sub-Inspector, Prohibition Enforcement Wing, Sivaganga, came to his residence at 4 a.m. and enquired with his mother-in-law, Irulayee, regarding the whereabouts of her relative, Malaikannu, who was wanted in connection with a prohibition offence. When she pleaded ignorance, she was taken to the police station. After the complainant went to the police station, she was allowed to leave. She wept outside the station and felt humiliated as she was berated in foul language. Unable to bear the insult, she consumed poison and died, the complainant said. The police official countered that after an enquiry following a complaint, the Additional Superintendent of Police, had concluded that suicide by the woman had nothing to do with the police enquiry and she took the extreme step due to some domestic dispute.
Mr. Bhaskaran said a perusal of the counter affidavit would show that the police official did not deny the allegation that he took the woman to the police station. It was also not denied that she had no case against her.
The counter was silent as to what prompted the official to take the woman from her house at 4 a.m. to the police station and keep her there till 11 a.m. She was neither an accused nor connected with any crime being investigated. The act of taking her and detaining her itself would make out a clear case of violation of human rights. The complainant had proved that Irulayee consumed poison unable to bear the humiliation, the Acting Chairperson said.