Kochi, March 14
The Kerala government on Monday filed an appeal in the division bench of the High Court against a single bench verdict which ordered the former to pay the Rs 1.5 lakh compensation to an eight-year-old girl and her father, who were publicly humiliated by a woman police official.
Incidentally, it was after several rounds of hearing that the singe bench judge Justice Devan Ramachandran in the last week of December after taking a humane position all through the hearings in the case, asked the Kerala government to pay Rs 1.5 lakh as compensation to the girl for the rude behaviour of lady police official Rejitha towards them.
The judge then delivering the judgement said, "We cannot let our daughters grow up in anger, so immediate remedial steps must be taken. No one can dispute that her fundamental rights under Article 21 to lead a dignified life were violated."
Incidentally Jayachandran, the father of the minor girl, then said that if the state government without filing an appeal before a higher bench gives Rs 1.5 lakh compensation as directed by the single bench, the former will share it and part of the compensation will be allotted towards empowering 'adivasi' (tribal) children and another portion will be given to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).
However Jayachandran after hearing the decision of the Pinarayi Vijayan government which has filed an appeal, said now it's the government which is paining them.
The girl had approached the Kerala High Court seeking compensation for the trauma she faced due to Rejitha, the official of 'Pink Police', an all-women team that aims at protecting women in public, private and digital spaces.
In her petition, the girl said that despite several pleas, no action was taken against the woman police official, therefore they moved the court to seek justice and after the trial began, the girl's family said that since they failed to get justice from any quarter, they have rejected the unconditional apology that the erring police official had tendered.
The incident occurred on August 27, last year when 38-year-old Jayachandran and his daughter were outside their house in the outskirts near Attingal to watch the movement of a huge trailer carrying equipment to the ISRO unit.
Suddenly Rejitha, the woman police official, found her mobile phone missing and accused Jayachandran, who was standing near the police patrol vehicle, of stealing it. She said that he must have given the mobile to his eight-year-old daughter who she thought was his accomplice.
Rejitha publicly humiliated the father and the daughter and threatened to take both of them to the nearby police station. The entire scene was witnessed by a large crowd.
Later, Rejitha found the mobile phone in the vehicle. The entire sequence of events was filmed by an onlooker, who shared it on social media and it went viral.
On August 31, Jayachandran approached the state Police Chief Anil Kant, seeking action against Rejitha as his daughter was in a state of shock for being publicly humiliated.
Promising action, Kant asked the South zone Inspector General of Police, Harshita Attaluri, to conduct a probe following which Rejitha was transferred.
However, it was found out that Rejitha was transferred to a more convenient location and there was no action taken against her.
Finding no further action in September, the family observed a day-long protest before the Kerala Secretariat protesting inaction against the woman police official. When this went unnoticed, the family approached the high court.