Sexual Harassment Complaint: Can HC Transfer Investigation To Another State ? SC To Examine [Read Order]

Sexual Harassment Complaint: Can HC Transfer Investigation To Another State ? SC To Examine [Read Order]

Does a High Court has jurisdiction to transfer the proceedings for enquiry into the complaint of sexual harassment and investigation in FIR to another State? The Supreme Court will examine.

The bench of Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Subhash Reddy issued notice in a special leave petition filed against a Madras High Court order.

A lady police officer (Superintendent of Police) had filed a complaint of sexual harassment against Dr.S.Murugan is Joint Director, Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption.

In a writ petition filed in this regard, the High Court invoking its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution, and observed that, to ensure fair, independent and unbiased investigation into the matter, looking to the nature of serious allegations of the sexual harassment by a Senior Lady Officer of the Police Department against another very Senior Officer of the same Department, the enquiry by the Internal Complaints Committee under the provisions of the Act as well as the investigation into the FIR filed by the complainant should be undertaken in another neighbouring State.

The state and Dr. S Murugan had opposed the transfer here is no sound legal basis to transfer the proceedings under the Act from one State to another, more so, when the Act does not contemplate to do so.

The bench then directed that all the proceedings of enquiry into the complaint of sexual harassment and the investigation into the FIR filed by the complainant shall stand transferred to the State of Telangana at Hyderabad. "We are conscious of the fact that the enquiry and investigation out of a State is not envisaged under the provisions of the Act. But, looking to the nature of positions of both the parties, the complainant as well as the appellant, both belonging to Police Department of the State of Tamil Nadu and the nature of allegations, sought impleadment of parties including Chief Minister etc., the spree of litigation which has ensued between the parties on account of the allegations of sexual harassment, we are inclined to ensure complete fairness and independence in the internal enquiry under the Act of 2013 as well as the investigation in the FIR.", the High Court had observed.

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