The Supreme Court Monday asked Telangana government and others to respond to a plea seeking transfer of probe from the state police to the CBI in a case of alleged suicide by a woman officer of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) due to purported harassment at her workplace.
A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna issued notices to the state, Telangana Police and others seeking their replies on the petition filed by the mother of the 33-year-old victim.
"Issue notice, returnable within three weeks," the bench said, adding, "Liberty is granted to serve on the standing counsel for the state of Telangana".
The plea, filed through advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, has alleged that the woman was forced to commit suicide in October last year as she was "sexually harassed" and "mentally tortured" by a superior officer and some other office colleagues at Hyderabad.
It has claimed that state police has not yet arrested the accused and no charge sheet has been filed despite lapse of over eight months.
It has sought the top court's direction to BHEL to "immediately initiate appropriate enquiry under applicable departmental rules and also under the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013" against the accused persons regarding the victim's death in a time bound manner and under the court's supervision.
"There is another shocking attempt of Telangana Police to blame the unfortunate suicide of deceased to her alleged mental illness despite the fact that her employer BHEL has categorically deposed that no sign of any mental illness was shown by her at her workplace," the plea alleged.
"The petitioner herein, being an aggrieved mother, is seeking justice for her daughter," it said, adding that the victim who belonged to Madhya Pradesh had joined BHEL in July 2009.
Referring to an alleged suicide note of the victim and her last telephonic conversation with her sister, the plea has claimed that it categorically establishes that some of her office colleagues had subjected her to harassment due to which she was forced to commit suicide.
It has alleged that the state police is not conducting fair investigation in the case and thus, the probe should be transferred to the CBI or any other independent central agency.