Tamil Nadu fined Rs2.5m for exposing sex scam victim
16 Mar 2019
Women shout slogans in New Delhi on Saturday against sexual assaults on college girls in Tamil Nadu. Reuters
By Nirmala Joseph
CHENNAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras high court has ordered the Tamil Nadu government and the police department to pay a compensation of at least Rs2.5 million to the Pollachi sex scandal victim whose identity was revealed in a police report.
The judges also ordered action against the erring police officer, Coimbatore district police chief Pandiarajan.
“The irresponsible conduct of the police officer is highly condemnable by this Court and it is appropriate to issue direction to the state government to take disciplinary action against the said police officer,” said the judges in their order.
A 19-year-old, who first exposed the racket that abused nearly 250 young women by using blackmail and other tactics, was named by the Coimbatore police. Later, the state home secretary in his order transferring the investigation to the CBI mentioned the details of the victim.
That was “violation of privacy, dignity and image,” the court said.
The government was asked to withdraw the home secretary’s order and to issue a fresh order deleting details of the victim.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by Ilamugil of Trichy who sought ban on social media circulating videos, audio files and photos related to crimes such as rape.
The bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and SS Sundar condemned Coimbatore district police chief R Pandiarajan, for revealing the total number of videos he had received and the number of the culprits during the first stage of investigation.
The judges also expressed serious concern about the video of the sex abuses. “The whole nation is shell-shocked,” they said while expressing deep anguish.
Pointing out that the video was circulated and viewed every day by lakhs of people through social media, the judges expressed their anguish over the Pollachi sex crime.
They noted that such videos impact minds and ordered the Central Government and the Internet Service Providers Association of India at New Delhi to prohibit circulation of the scandalous Pollachi videos.
Dr Shalini, a renowned psychiatrist in Chennai had stated that she has been receiving male patients reporting that they got excited seeing such scandalous videos and that they also wished to perform the same horrible acts, said the judges.
The state government to advertise that circulating the videos of the sexual assault is an offence.
The court also referred to reports that the Pollachi scam involved more than 100 victims and directed the state government to give psychological counseling to them “in any other town/place other than Pollachi so that their identity would be safeguarded.” The victims should get conselling in any other town/place other than Pollachi so that their identity would be safeguarded.
The judges also ordered the Central and the state governments to respond on the Supreme Court order to set up “One Stop Centres” to deal with rape cases in the country and directed them to create public awareness on this issue through films, short films and pamphlets giving details of the advantages and disadvantages of using Internet and also to include this as a chapter in school and college syllabi.
Crowds in Pollachi on Thursday morning ransacked a bar owned by A. Nagaraj, a ruling Anna DMK leader accused of assaulting the brother of a young woman who exposed the sex abuse of nearly 250 women.
Nagaraj, known as “Bar Nagaraj,” was taken into custody after the 19-year-old victim’s family lodged a complaint against him.
Succumbing to pressure, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy has ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe. The Central agency has formally taken over on Thursday and have started analysing the videos the men have captured of the victims.
Slamming Pandiarajan for revealing the name of the survivor, DMK leader Kanimozhi MP said the name was revealed only to silence the other victims and prevent them from coming out in the open and complaining.
A notification from the Home department stated that the decision to call in the CBI was taken by Governor Banwarilal Purohit under section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
The order permitted the extension of powers and jurisdiction to members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment in the whole of Tamil Nadu.