IAS officer N Prasanth was reportedly booked Tuesday in Kerala for allegedly sending text messages “abusive” in nature to a woman journalist. He is the Managing Director for state-owned enterprise Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC).
A case is registered against Prasanth for insulting a woman’s modesty following a complaint by the journalist. Malayalam media publication Mathrubhumi claims the woman is employed with them.
“The remark was made when a journalist from Mathrubhumi approached the officer seeking information on deep sea fishing,” a report on the publication’s website says.
The journalist’s query was with regard to the controversy surrounding a fishing contract between KSINC and EMCC International earlier this year, allowing the latter to fish off the coast of Kerala, that prompted the opposition to raise the issue of threats to fishermen’s rights and livelihoods.
IAS Officer N Prasanth Accused Of Abusing Woman Journo
According to New Indian Express, the woman journalist alleged in her complaint Prasanth sent her “abusive replies and emojis” when she probed him on WhatsApp over the allegations. Police authorities in Kochi said a case under Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code, which concerns a “word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman”, has been registered against Prasanth.
Reports suggest legal advice was sought from the state’s Directorate of Prosecution, which consented to a case against Prasanth observing officers have the right to decline comment to journalists but should not misbehave.
When the fishing controversy erupted, Pinarayi Vijayan’s government had stated the deal was signed by KSINC without their knowledge, with Prasanth’s name emerging as the signing officer. The government cancelled the memorandum of understanding and a probe was ordered into the incident, as per reports.
Prasanth had denied charges the government was uninformed about the deal and said due protocol was followed, with proof to substantiate his claims.