High Court directive to pay compensation to minor girl

Humiliation by Pink police officer at Attingal

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the State government to pay a compensation of ₹1,50,000 to an eight-year-old girl who had been humiliated and insulted by a Pink police officer at Attingal in Thiruvananthapuram in full public view.

The court directed the State government to pay her a litigation cost of ₹25,000.

Justice Devan Ramachandran observed that the petitioner was entitled to compensation for violating her fundamental right to live under the Constitution. “We cannot let our daughters grow up in anger and immediate remedial steps should be taken. No one can dispute that her fundamental right under Article 21 had been violated.”

Allowing a writ petition filed by the girl seeking compensation, the court directed that the disciplinary action be taken against Rajitha, the Pink police officer, who had allegedly humiliated and insulted her by accusing her and her father of stealing a phone kept in the petrol vehicle.

The incident took place on August 27 when the girl along with her father reached Moonumukku to watch the movement of a massive cargo to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thumba. The phone was later found in the vehicle. The petitioner alleged that the action of the police officers had caused her mental trauma and psychological distress, besides violating her fundamental right to live with dignity under Article 21 as well as her reputation.

The court ordered that till the disciplinary proceedings were initiated and concluded, the police officer be kept away from duties that would require her to interact with the public. The court said that her superior officers should have initiated disciplinary action after they found that she had acted contrary to the mandate of her duty.

The court directed that the police officer who had been transferred to the Kollam Crime Branch be given necessary training on interpersonal behaviour. The court said the fact that the girl went through a harrowing experience, which certainly would leave a scar on her mind, was sufficient to grant her reparation. However, she could seek a larger compensation under the applicable statutes and law through the civil court.

The visuals of the incident would bring anguish and agony to any right-thinking person. Prima facie it would appear as if the girl was sobbing and crying as a result of the officer’s demeanour.

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