HC refuses govt official’s plea for ‘settlement’ on workplace harassment

The Delhi High Court has refused to entertain a plea for settlement on a matter related to alleged harassment of a woman at her workplace in a government office by a senior official and seeking quashing of an FIR in this regard.

“At this stage, this court is not inclined to quash the FIR in question on the basis of the settlement and it would be appropriate to have a detailed status report under the signatures of the DCP concerned after carrying out a proper investigation, before disposing of the petition,” the bench of Justice Mukta Gupta said in a recently passed order.

As per the FIR registered in South Avenue police station, the petitioner woman alleged that the accused a Deputy Director-General in the office used to repeatedly call her and speak non-sense to her. The petitioner used to follow her in the corridor. He made sexual overtures to her asking her to marry him or be his girlfriend and when the complainant did not pay heed to him, the petitioner started calling her at odd hours and sending her messages.

When the complainant sought an action and narrated the incidents to the senior officer, it was stated that the petitioner would soon be transferred and thus, she should not give the complaint. In the meantime, the petitioner was promoted and transferred to Muradnagar.

The complainant thus thought that probably now, she will not be harassed, however, the harassment continued, the woman alleged.

On December 2017, the woman suddenly received a reduction in the pay bill on the ground that she had taken a lot of leaves. Thereafter, she was pressured to take back her case and in return, the accused would pay her the money.

She has also submitted given copies of the screenshots of the messages received to the Investigating Officer. She further stated that to harass her, the dates on which the Biometric attendance machine was not working, were counted as holidays taken by her and against the same, the amount sought to be deducted from her salary and in the process, so far, an amount of Rs 19,000 has been deducted and Rs 96,000 is still outstanding dues against the respondent.

The court sought a detailed status report that will be filed under the signatures of the DCP concerned after carrying out a proper investigation into the matter.

Further hearing in the matter will be on March 24.


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