Court restores B'lore-based CISF officer's pay

Justice at last

The Division Bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Suresh Kait allowed the plea of M Meena Kumari, the officer, and instead held her bosses, including the unit’s commandant, responsible for her condition. “We hold the superior officers completely responsible for what has happened. In law, it has to be held that the commandant had failed in the duty to give an audience to the petitioner and intervene in the matter to ensure that the petitioner was not subject to a slander campaign,” the court said. Kumari, an MBA with a post-graduate degree in mathematics, who worked as a sub-inspector with the CISF, was admitted to Baptist Hospital, Bangalore, on March 16, 2009, after she allegedly took an overdose of sleeping pills.

Disturbing rumours

She claimed that she was very disturbed over the rumours of her indulging in excessive smoking and drinking being spread in her hostel by immediate seniors. Though she wanted to inform the commandant about it, she was denied audience.
In her plea, she alleged that she was being victimised as she had spoken the fact about her in-charge Inspector M Indu Kumari allowing her husband to stay at the hostel, in an inquiry by the commandant.

“It is true that an act of suicide would normally be a matter of discretion for the reason it can be said that the person concerned had a choice, but there may be situations where a person is virtually left with no choice, for example, where the tormentors by way of a systematic campaign drive a person to commit suicide by leaving no other choice,” the court said. “Any prudent person could reasonably foresee that if the petitioner who was sending out distress signals was not given a patient hearing the likely fallout would be an extreme step,” it added.

The Bench absolved the petitioner of attempted suicide, noting that the medical evidence did not show that she took such an overdose of nitrest and crocin that could be fatal. It also quashed the orders passed by disciplinary, appellate and revisional authorities reducing her pay by three stages for her conduct.

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