That is the first thing you should have done after receipt of complaint: judge
Observing that a person facing sexual harassment charges must be suspended first before proceeding with an inquiry, the Madras High Court on Friday wondered why a Special Director General of Police (now on compulsory wait) accused of having made sexual advances towards a woman Superintendent of Police had not been suspended yet in order to inspire confidence in the criminal investigation as well as an internal inquiry initiated against him.
Justice N. Anand Venkatesh raised the query during the hearing of a suo motu writ petition taken up by him to monitor the investigation in a criminal case booked against the ex-Special DGP as well as a Superintendent of Police, who reportedly waylaid the victim when she was on her way to lodge a complaint and forced her to talk to the prime suspect over phone, as well as an inquiry being conducted by the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) into the charge of sexual harassment.
“Wouldn’t you have immediately resorted to suspension if a similar charge had been levelled against an inspector of police or sub- inspector? What is the hesitation in suspending this person? Is he so great that you will not suspend him? Suspension is what you should have done first?” the judge asked.
Making it clear that he was not questioning the police for not having arrested the Special DGP as well as the SP so far since arrest was completely the prerogative of the investigating officer concerned and courts could not force the police to arrest the suspects in any criminal case, the judge said suspension was squarely a different matter altogether since one could not expect a fair probe when even bare minimum action had not been taken against the prime suspect.
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