Indonesian Spa Therapist Approaches Supreme Court Regarding Illegal Detention Followed by Raid at the Spa

An Indonesian spa therapist has moved to Supreme Court, whilst challenging an HC order which provided relief to the police inspector who was involved in the illegal detention of the spa therapist in a woman’s home which was followed by a police raid at the spa.

The woman was granted a compensation of Rs. 2.5 lakhs by the Madras High Court as relief/compensation.

The court had ordered the Tamilnadu Governor to recover the compensation amount for the salary of the inspector in monthly instalments. Later, a division bench stayed the deduction.

Facts of the Case

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A raid was conducted by a Chennai Police team which was led by Inspector K. Natarajan in October 2018, wherein a lot of female workers who worked at the spa were detained, from whom, one of them was a therapist from Indonesia, Kadek Dwi Ani Rasmini, who had a valid degree, work visa and was a routine taxpayer in India. She was forced to spend 26 days in a woman’s home before being released on the intervention of the Indonesian Embassy.

Rasmini moved the Madras High Court questioning the ulterior motive behind the raids and alleged that it was because of the inspector wreaking vengeance for his constant run-ins with the spa owner. In the court, she alleged that her detention was without any reason and evidence. She demanded compensation for Rs. 10 lakhs for the illegal detention, loss of personal reputation, harassment, and mental agony.

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Justice Anand Venkatesh, while passing the order with regard to the police action, termed it illegal and ordered the Tamil Nadu government to pay Rasmini a compensation of Rs. 2.5 lakh in order to restore dignity at the workplace for female workers at spas. The court also ordered the state to recover the amount from the police inspector in equal instalments.

“The petitioner came into this country with the fond hope that her services will be used as a massage therapist and that she will be adequately compensated. She could not have thought even in the remotest of her dreams that she would be confined at a home by the police for 26 days. The petitioner has gone through a horrifying experience at the hand of the first respondent and must have a very bad impression about this country and its system,” said Justice Venkatesh.

Appeal by the Police Inspector

After some 286 days of the judgment, the police inspector filed an appeal against the judgment so far as it directed recovery of Rs. 2.5 lakhs, the compensation awarded to Rasmini, from his salary.

He did not challenge the criminal case which was built against him regarding the illegal raid on the spa. A division bench agreed to condone the huge delay and ordered a stay on the further deduction of equated monthly instalments from the inspector’s salary.

Supreme Court’s Order

However, Rasmini, after the stay order was passed, moved the Supreme Court, challenging the decision taken by the Division Bench. Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai, and Krishna Murari issued notice to the police inspector on Friday and gave him three weeks’ time to respond.


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