Kerala police registered a complaint against IAS officer N Prasanth on Tuesday for allegedly insulting a woman journalist’s modesty by sending her obscene stickers through WhatsApp when she was contacting him for an official response.
After seeking legal guidance on the matter, police told the media that ‘we have registered a case under Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code.’
The section deals with the offence of insulting a woman’s modesty, uttering any phrase, making any sound or gesture or displaying any item with the intent that such a word, sound, gesture or thing be heard or such gesture or object be seen, by such woman or intruding upon her privacy.
Early this year, Prasanth, the Managing Director of Kerala State Inland Navigation Company (KSINC), was embroiled in a political scandal when the corporation inked an MoU on deep-sea trawling with a US firm.
Prasanth received a text message from a reporter from a vernacular daily identifying herself and requesting a response to the dispute. The journalist could be seen inquiring if it was a good time to chat about a news issue in the screenshots of WhatsApp exchanges that were distributed.
Prasanth just answered with a sticker. He responded with an inappropriate and vulgar sticker when she said the story was not meant to harm him and requested him to make a comment about the situation. The complaint was filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ).