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PP takes money from sexual assault victim’s kin, faces DVAC probe

A public prosecutor who worked in Mahila court in Tiruvallur, who forcibly collected money from a sexual assault victim’s family to prosecute the accused, was booked by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption. The agency said its preliminary investigation revealed that the government advocate had demanded illegal gratification from several other victims to conduct the case.

PP takes money from sexual assault victim’s kin, faces DVAC probe
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A Dhanalakshmi, former additional PP at Mahila Court, Tiruvallur, was booked under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act following a complaint from a mother of a harassment victim, who had lodged the petition in January 2017, nearly five years ago.

Her daughter had lodged a complaint at Ambattur police station against a youth who had allegedly sexually exploited her on the promise of marriage. The police had registered a case under Sections 376 and 417 of the IPC, and Sec 4 of Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, and the chargesheet was filed in Mahila Court, Tiruvallur.

When summoned, the petitioner and her two daughters went to the court and met the then Public Prosecutor Dhanalakshmi, who allegedly demanded Rs 50,000 from her to conduct prosecution in the case. When she expressed her inability to pay such a big amount, Dhanalakshmi reduced the bribe amount to Rs 25,000. The advocate insisted on getting the bribe amount, warning that she would not conduct the case properly.

The petitioner is said to have given two installments of Rs 5,000 each in April and May, 2016. However, Dhanalakshmi reiterated her original demand of Rs 50,000 and threatened that the accused would be acquitted if the bribe amount was not paid.

Based on the petition from the victim’s mother, the DVAC carried out a preliminary enquiry, which revealed that Dhanalakshmi had demanded illegal gratification not only from the petitioner but from several other litigants, too.

She demanded bribe to exercise her proper function as additional Public Prosecutor and committed criminal misconduct by abusing her position as a public prosecutor in charge of the case, DVAC, Chennai, said.

Dhanalakshmi was the second former government advocate to come under DVAC radar after a vigilance case was registered against a former special prosecutor based in Madurai.

Former PA of Transport Commissioner under scanner

Meanwhile, after registering a case under Prevention of Corruption Act against Muralidharan, formerly personal assistant to Transport commissioner and his second wife, T Rajeswari, formerly assistant, RTO office, West Chennai, following the allegation of accumulation of disproportionate assets, DVAC sleuths carried out searches at his houses in Chennai, Theni and Madurai. In all, 190 sovereigns of jewels, property documents worth Rs 84.83 lakh, 2.46 kg of silver articles and Rs 43,000 in cash, and also some documents, officials said.

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