HC asks BSF to reply to woman officer’s plea for fresh ICC proceedings in sexual harassment matter

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New Delhi, Jul 19 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Monday sought response of the Centre and Director General of Border Security Force (BSF) on a plea by a woman officer seeking initiation of fresh ICC proceedings following proper guidelines into her allegation of sexual harassment by a senior official.

The high court, however, refused to grant, at this stage, interim relief to stay the proceedings initiated by the BSF against the woman officer as well as her posting order from Tripura to Punjab.

The woman medical officer has also sought her transfer to Delhi.

A bench of Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Amit Bansal issued notices and asked the authorities to file their responses within six weeks on the petition.

It asked the Director General of BSF to personally examine the matter and if any wrong is found to have been done, take corrective/ remedial measures within three weeks of today.

The bench said besides filing of counter affidavit, the Director General of BSF shall also submit the report to the court in three weeks and listed the case for further hearing on September 29.

The woman said she is aggrieved with the sexual harassment meted out to her allegedly by her senior and as a consequence, several proceedings have been initiated against her.

“Petitioner was sexually harassed / assaulted by her immediate senior wherein in absence of an ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) she had no competent authority to complain about the atrocities, which is also against the guidelines mentioned as in the case of Vishakha & Ors vs. State of Rajasthan, mandating the constitution of an ICC at the workplace,” the petition, filed through advocate Swati Jindal Garg, said.

She also claimed that her several leave applications were denied unreasonably and the gravity of the circumstances were that her right to privacy and safety was also compromised and no immediate relief was granted to her.

She has sought to reinitiate the ICC proceedings against the concerned officers in accordance with the law and quash the ICC that has been conducted in a “wholly biased manner” by the respondents to which no report has been filed till date even after the expiry of more than nine months from the date on which the ICC was initiated.

The petitioner woman officer sough to be transferred to Delhi saying she wants to look after her children as both her parents-in-law died recently and her husband has still not recovered from COVID-19.

She said she has also spent a huge sum in legal assistance, litigation and other related expenses made against her harassments. PTI SKV SKV RKS RKS

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