The Kerala High Court on Monday asked the state what it proposes to do to assuage feelings of the minor girl, who along with her father were accused of theft by a woman pink police officer, and restore her faith in humanity and the police.
The query from the court came during the hearing of a plea filed by the eight-year-old girl, seeking a direction to the government to take stern action against the officer for infringing her fundamental right.
The petitioner has also sought Rs 50 lakh from the government as compensation for the humiliating incident which occurred on August 27.
Justice Devan Ramachandran said the incident occurred as the officer in question was "drunk on power".
"If it was your daughter would you do this? That is what I am asking the government. The government has to treat the child as its daughter and take care of her.
"No doubt the officer acted in a manner wholly unbecoming of an officer and a human being. However, the state has to answer what it proposes to do to protect the child," the judge said.
"What does the state propose to do to assuage her feelings and restore her faith and confidence in humanity and the police," the court asked the state.
The court also said that the report filed by the State Police Chief (SPC) in relation to the incident was "trying to create an obfuscatory curtain" and that it was "really unfortunate".
It was also shocked that the SPC said in his report that no case under the Juvenile Justice Act or any other criminal provision was made out against the officer in question regarding her actions on that day.
"I am shocked. How can the DGP say that? Your (police) report is not right. You should have been more empathetic," the judge said.
Meanwhile, the lawyer for the pink police officer in question, who has been transferred to Kollam from Attingal to serve in a non-uniformed post, submitted an affidavit in which the woman has "wholeheartedly and deeply" apologised to the child and her family as well as the court for her actions of that day.
After perusing the affidavit by the officer, mother of three minor children and the sole earner of her family as her husband was unemployed, the court asked the lawyer for the girl and her family whether they were willing to forgive the woman.
"Bygones must be bygones," the court suggested, but left it to the child and her family to take a call.
To the SPC, the court said, "It is not when an incident is brought to light that action is taken, but every officer needs to be sensitised on how to deal with women and children.
"You have to ensure that every officer acts with empathy towards the citizens."
The court also said that it wants to speak to the doctor who had carried out the psychiatric evaluation of the child and asked the state to make arrangements for the online presence of the medical professional on the next date of hearing -- December 15.
The court on the last date had said that the pink police officer's conduct indicated "pure ego and arrogance of the khaki".
The incident occurred on August 27 when Attingal resident Jayachandran reached Moonumukku with his eight-year-old daughter, who wanted to watch the movement of a massive cargo to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thumba.
Rajitha, a woman police officer attached to the Pink police, was deployed to assist in traffic regulation and she accused the duo of stealing her mobile phone that was kept in the police vehicle.
In a video which went viral, the officer and her colleague were seen harassing the father and the daughter and even frisking him. The child broke down amid their harassment.
However, when an onlooker dialed the number of the officer, the mobile phone was found in the police vehicle, following which the police team left the scene without even tendering an apology to the father and the daughter.
As part of a disciplinary action, the woman officer was transferred and the State police chief directed her to undergo behavioural training.