An Indian-origin policewoman in Singapore has been jailed for five months for forging statement of an alleged molestation victim in a serious dereliction of duty which almost saw the woman being charged for giving false information, a media report said Tuesday.
Senior Staff Sergeant Kalaivani Kalimuthu, 38, was an investigation officer in the Violence Against Persons Squad when she committed the offence.
Kalaivani handled a case of a woman who was not named in court documents. The woman lodged a police complaint in March 2016, alleging that she was molested by a person who also tried to rape her.
Kalaivani was assigned to conduct an investigation into the case and had to interview the woman and record a further statement.
She called the woman but could not arrange an interview with her. As she wanted to complete the investigation quickly, Kalaivani forged the further statement, Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Chew told the court,
She did so on her police-issued laptop in November 2016, without the woman present, adding details to the statement that the woman had never provided, Channel News Asia reported.
The details include a claim that the woman touched her alleged molester during the incident, and she did not mind her attacker touching her.
Kalaivani signed the statement with the woman's name by tracing her signature from the previous statement and sent the investigation papers to her officer-in-charge, recommending that no further action be taken regarding the woman's police report.
The police sent the investigation papers to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC), recommending that a warning be given to the woman for giving false information to the police.
The AGC directed the police to take a further statement from the woman when the police recommended charging her for providing false information.
The matter was reassigned to another investigation officer, who interviewed the woman in person in June 2017. He showed her the forged statement, and the woman denied having given any such statement.
Kalaivani, who has been suspended from the Singapore Police Force, pleaded guilty in December.
The prosecution had asked for five to six months' jail term, saying that Kalaivani's offence "was in severe dereliction of the duties she had been entrusted with", and in flagrant breach of trust reposed in her, the report said.
"The accused's offence has also harmed the public interest and has the potential to undermine public confidence in law enforcement agencies and the proper administration of criminal justice," it said, quoting Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Chew.
While acknowledging that Kalaivani had pleaded guilty early, she pointed out that "this is a case where the prosecution would not have had any difficulty proving its case at trial".
For committing forgery, Kalaivani could have been jailed for up to four years, fined, or both.