The Supreme Court has directed two Mumbai police officers to jointly pay Rs 15,000 in compensation to a female nurse for illegally holding her at a police station for over 24 hours despite its interim order granting her two weeks’ protection against any coercive action.
“To say the least, we don’t expect the police officers to behave in this manner and that too in the teeth of the order of this court,” the bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Ahsanuddin Amanullah said.
The court passed the order after accepting the unconditional apologies tendered by assistant sub-inspector Poonam Pawar and another ASI, who together offered to compensate nurse Rajeshree Devram Kale.
Kale had in November 2021 approached the apex court for anticipatory bail in a criminal case but was refused. The court, however, granted her two weeks’ interim protection from arrest.
Khale says Pawar and her colleague had entered the hospital where she worked and arrested her despite being shown the top court’s order. She was detained at Khar police station for over 24 hours. She was then produced before the trial court, which refused to remand her citing the apex court’s interim order.
In its order of November 20, 2021, the additional chief metropolitan magistrate’s court in Bandra also recorded that Kale’s arrest was unjustified. It added that the complainant (in the criminal case) and the petitioner (nurse) had settled the case.
Kale later moved a contempt petition against the two officers.
The apex court said that a sum of Rs 15,000, “which will be shared by both the respondents”, should be paid to Kale “within a period of two weeks”.