Suspend former Special DGP charged with sexual harassment: HC

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Chennai, Mar 16 (PTI) The Madras High Court on Tuesday strongly recommended to the State government to suspend a former Special DGP, charged with sexual harassment of a woman subordinate IPS officer.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh gave a direction to this effect when the matter, taken up by the court on its own, came up for further hearing on Tuesday.

The judge noted that the government had thought it fit to place the second accused (then Chengalpattu SP) in the case under suspension considering the gravity of allegations against him.

'The yardstick must be the same irrespective of the position held by the (first) accused (ex-Spl.DGP). The fact that this court has taken upon itself to monitor the investigation in this case shows that it involves public interest and also the dignity of the police force in the State,' the judge said.

'Therefore, taking a positive step by suspending A-1 (ex-Spl. DGP), pending investigation, will bring in more confidence in the perception of the general public that the issue has been taken up with all seriousness and the investigation will progress in a free and fair manner,' the judge observed.

The sentiments expressed by this court in the present order should be given due weightage by the State and necessary steps shall be taken and reported before this court, the judge added.

Initiation of disciplinary proceedings such as suspension from service must be done to ensure that the delinquent officer does not misuse his official position and the investigation can be carried out in a free and fair manner.

This practice gains more significance when it comes to investigation of a crime of a delinquent officer belonging to the police force, the court said.

The State Government Pleader told the judge the sentiments expressed by the court will be considered seriously and further development will be reported before it.

The judge posted the matter for further hearing on March 23. PTI COR SA BN BN