Tamil Nadu

Status quo on internal inquiry against suspended special DGP

The Madras High Court on Friday ordered maintenance of status quo for four weeks with respect to an inquiry against suspended special Director General of Police (DGP) Rajesh Das by an internal complaints committee (ICC) constituted under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013.

Justice C. Saravanan issued the interim order after Advocate-General R. Shunmugasundaram sought time to file a counter affidavit to a writ petition preferred by the suspended police officer, challenging the inquiry conducted by the ICC on the basis of a complaint lodged against him by a woman IPS officer this February.

The judge directed the A-G to make sure that the State government’s counter affidavit is filed in two weeks and granted one more week thereafter for senior counsel A.R.L. Sundaresan, representing the writ petitioner, to file his reply to the counter. He directed the High Court Registry to list the case after four weeks for further hearing.

Earlier, Mr. Sundaresan had said that the inquiry was not conducted in accordance with law. He said the statements of the witnesses had not been shared with the writ petitioner, and he was not given an opportunity to cross examine them. He also alleged that a couple of members of the ICC were biased, and insisted that an inquiry be conducted as per law.

On the other hand, the A-G told the court that the government had removed Inspector General of Police A. Arun from the ICC after the writ petitioner alleged that the member had posted certain adverse messages against him on a WhatsApp group maintained by IPS officers, immediately after the complaint of sexual harassment surfaced.

‘No substance’

As far as the allegation of bias against another member — Additional Director General of Police Seema Agarwal (now promoted as Director General of Police) — was concerned, the government found that there was no susbstance in the allegation of bias, and hence, she was retained in the committee, which has already submitted a report to the government.

The A-G added that the writ petitioner had taken six months to approach the court against the ICC, though the proceedings had begun as early as March.


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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 11:09:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/status-quo-on-internal-inquiry-against-suspended-special-dgp/article37131501.ece

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