Chennai

With family not backing, woman drops harassment charge

: A woman and her mother who were inappropriately touched by a senior railway official while on a train journey from Srirangam to Chennai earlier this year couldn’t pursue a criminal case against him, due to lack of support from her husband and father. Citing that her husband and father were not “understanding”, the woman has withdrawn the case and the Madras High Court reluctantly has consented to her decision.

Thus, the senior Railway official, who misbehaved with the woman and her mother on an air-conditioned coach of Chennai Express during the intervening night between July 31 and August 1, would walk free though an FIR was initially registered against him. Incidentally, a single judge of the Madras High Court, upon learning about the victim’s familial situation, offered to hold in-camera proceedings in the case to enable her pursue the case against the accused without attracting the attention of the outside world. However, the woman and her mother were not willing to proceed with the case. “The intention of this court and the gesture of this court would have been very useful provided if I had an understanding husband and family [..] now neither my husband nor my father are not [sic] there to support me. If the present scenario is known to my husband, it would take an ugly turn and I may not be in a position to have any solution in my matrimonial issues,” the victim said in her affidavit.

Curiously, she added that she was the only bread winner of the family and her family wholly depended on her income. Hence, she has “decided to forget and forgive this issue as it would affect my matrimonial life”.

The case has had several twists and turns. At first, the Railway Police dithered filing the FIR and proceeded against the senior official after “much hesitation.” Later, the accused official moved the High Court seeking to quash the FIR against him claiming that he had arrived at a compromise with the women. However, the same judge had dismissed his plea suspecting that the compromise could have been a result of coercion by the senior official. The court then ordered transfer of investigation in the case from the Railway Police to the Central Crime Branch.



With the woman not wishing to press charges, the railway official would now walk free



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Printable version | May 15, 2021 7:24:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/With-family-not-backing-woman-drops-harassment-charge/article16085822.ece

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