The Madras High Court has dismissed a sexual harassment complaint against a school headmaster by a woman Anaganwadi worker as an abuse of the process of law on finding that the complaint was a counterblast to the one lodged by the petitioner against her.
As per the case, Joseph while working as Headmaster of Panchayat Union Elementary School, at Anaiyakottai Village, Senthamarai was the Anganwadi worker in the adjacent centre. But owing to certain lapses, the former had lodged a complaint against the latter for deficiency of service. Thereupon, Senthamarai, filed a complaint on November 05, 2018 stating that on October 17, 2018, Joseph had directed her to come to his office, where he pulled her hands and tried to kiss on her hands. Since Semthamarai is a scheduled caste, the case was registered for the offences under SC/ST Act.
However, Joseph submitted that there is absolutely no explanation for the delay in lodging the complaint. Moreover, on September 22, 2018 a complaint was lodged before the Block Education Officer, Ramanathapuram Educational District, against Senthamarai in respect of her illegal activity after deciding at a meeting held with the parents of the students in respect of the allegation against Senthamarai. Therefore, the belated complaint is nothing but abuse of process of law.
Also, Justice Ilanthiraiyan on recording that the investigation process was vitiated as the final report has been submitted by an officer not recommended by the SP, said “The entire complaint is a malafide one and done only to wreak vengeance against the petitioner.”