शनिवार, 27 नवंबर 2010

National Human Rights Commission - SAKSHI N.G.O. case - Sexual Harassment at work place - Case No. 1775/35/2003-2004-WC

Sexual Harassment at work place - Case No. 1775/35/2003-2004-WC

The Commission took cognizance of a complaint, dated 12.3.2004 referred by Ms. K. Geeta, Programme Coordinator of SAKSHI, an NGO alleging sexual harassment of Ms. Asha Rajora, Technical Assistant in the Herbal Research and Development Institute, Gopeshwar, Uttaranchal by the Director of the Institute. Allegations of further harassment by way of non-renewal of her job contract with effect from 1.5.2004 were also levelled.

The Commission directed the Chief Secretary, Uttaranchal and District Magistrate, Dehradun to submit their reports in the matter. The Commission also directed the State Authorities to inform (i) whether the Vishakha Guidelines are being followed in letter and spirit, while holding the inquiry; and (ii) whether any protection has been given to the complainant in the meanwhile.

An interim report received from the Chief Secretary, Govt. of Uttaranchal indicated that the Commissioner, Garhwal Circle, has been requested to inquire into the matter as he was heading the Divisional Vigilance Committee. The interim report was however silent about the constitution of Divisional Vigilance Committee and whether it is in conformity with the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court of India in Vishakha's case, which requires that the Complaints Committee should be headed by a woman and not less than half of its members should be women. Further, to prevent the possibility of any undue pressure or influence from senior levels such Complaints Committee should involve a third party, either NGO or other body who is familiar with the issue of sexual harassment. The Chief Secretary, Uttaranchal was therefore requested to clarify as to whether the Divisional Vigilance Committee is in conformity with Vishakha Guidelines.

The Principal Secretary, Govt. of Uttaranchal informed the Commission that on the basis of the recommendations made by the Vigilance Committee, which was constituted in accordance with the guidelines in Vishakha case, the services of Dr. J. S. Rawat, Director, HRDI, Gopeshwar were terminated with effect from 4.10.2004. Since action had been taken by the Government in the case of sexual harassment the case was closed on 17.1.2005.


Presented By:

Narendra Singh Tomar


Highcourt of Madhya Pradesh