A “spin” or a “googly” is how Kerala High Court on Monday termed the Left government’s stand that there was no material on record to show that a pink police officer had, in August, accused a father and daughter of stealing her phone or humiliated the child so as to violate her rights or entitle her to any compensation.
The state government’s latest stand, came in response to the court’s observation last week that the girl was entitled to compensation under the public law remedy and its query to the government as to how much amount it would offer.
In response to the court’s observation and query, the state government said that there was no material on record to show that the girl was restrained or humiliated by the pink police officer so as to violate her fundamental rights or entitle her to any damages under the public law remedy.
Surprised by these turn of events, the court pointed out that neither the state nor the police should have taken such a stand — disputing the facts of the matter — when the woman pink police officer had in her statement admitted that she had restrained the father and daughter from leaving the scene till her phone was found.
The court said that the woman officer had also admitted that the child had started crying even before a crowd gathered, but the affidavit filed by an Inspector General of Police (IGP) contended that the girl cried only after hearing the ridicule by the people there.
“You (state) are arguing all this after respondent 4 (pink police officer) conceded to everything,” the court said.
“According to you (state), the child was not humiliated and she started crying because of the ridicule by the crowd. A new spin is being created by the state. It is a good spin, a googly.
“A different colour is being given that nothing was on record to show that such an incident occurred. I took some things for granted. I thought you (state) were in agreement. That is the mistake I made,” the judge said.
The court said that the state was claiming there was no violation of any fundamental rights “as they do not recognise any fundamental rights”.
The judge also noted that the IGP in her affidavit also refers to a video viewed by her and asked why the same was not placed on record.
The court said that if the petitioner (the girl) is directed to place the video on record, the state would want to send it for forensic analysis and therefore, directed that the video seen by the IGP be placed on record before the next date of hearing on December 22.
It was hearing a plea filed by the 8-year-old girl, seeking a direction to the government to take stern action against the officer for infringing on her fundamental right.
The petitioner has also sought ₹ 50 lakh from the government as compensation for the humiliating incident which occurred on August 27.
The court on December 15 had said that the amount sought by the petitioner was “exorbitant” and “highly exaggerated”, but it was of the view that she has to be compensated under the public law remedy.
The incident occurred on August 27 when Attingal resident Jayachandran reached Moonumukku with his eight-year-old daughter, who wanted to watch the movement of a massive cargo to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thumba.
Rajitha, the woman Pink police officer, was deployed to assist in traffic regulation and she accused the duo of stealing her mobile phone that was kept in the police vehicle.
In a video which went viral, the officer and her colleague were seen harassing the father and the daughter and even frisking him. The child broke down amid their harassment.
However, when an onlooker dialled the number of the officer, the mobile phone was found in the police vehicle, following which the police team left the scene without even tendering an apology to the father and the daughter.
As part of a disciplinary action, the woman officer was transferred and the State police chief directed her to undergo behavioural training.
The court had earlier said that the incident occurred as the officer was “drunk on power”.
It had said that the pink police officer’s conduct indicated “pure ego and arrogance of the khaki”.