Case against IAS officer for harassing woman journalist

Case against IAS officer for sending inappropriate WhatsApp sticker to woman journalist

Prasanth, the Managing Director of Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC), was caught in a political controversy early this year

A case has been registered in the incident which happened in February this year. Credit: iStock Photo

A case was registered against an IAS officer in Kerala for sending an inappropriate message to a woman journalist.

N Prasanth was booked under IPC 509 for insulting modesty of a woman. A journalist with a vernacular daily complained that Prasanth sent insulting replies and stickers when she made some query on Whatsapp regarding a news story.

The incident took place in February and the case was registered on the basis of a petition given by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists to the Chief Minister.

Prasanth, who is a 2007 batch IAS officer, was a quite popular officer and was even widely referred to as 'Collector bro'.

Police told PTI that the case has been registered in the incident after obtaining legal advice on the issue.

"We have registered a case under Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code," police said. The section deals with the offence of insulting the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such a word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman.

Prasanth, the Managing Director of Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC), was caught in a political controversy early this year after the corporation signed an MoU with a US firm on deep sea trawling. The reporter from a vernacular daily texted Prasanth introducing herself and sought a reply on the controversy.

In the screenshots of the WhatsApp messages that were circulated, the journalist could be seen asking whether it was a good time to talk regarding a news story. To this Prasanth replied with just a sticker. When she replied saying the story was not to harm him, and asked him to give a statement regarding the controversy, he replied with an inappropriate and obscene sticker.

A complaint was filed with the police by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ). The state government later in May had ordered a probe against the 2007 batch IAS officer for his alleged misbehaviour.

(With PTI inputs)

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