Courts

Delhi High Court states that Internal Committee cannot do Moral Policing

Recently, in a judgment dated 16th December 2020, the Delhi High Court, in the case of Bibha Pandey vs Punjab National Bank and Ors. stated that, “Moral Policing is not the job of the Management or of the IC.” In this case, a complaint of sexual harassment was filed with the IC of Punjab National …

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Respondent can be of the same gender as the Complainant

In the case of Malabika Bhattacharjee vs. Internal Complaints Committee, Vivekananda College and Ors., Calcutta High Court, decided on 27th November, 2020, the question that arose for consideration was whether a complaint filed against a ‘Respondent’ who is of the same gender as the Complainant is valid. In this case, the gender of the complainant …

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Delhi High Court on sending sexually coloured messages

sexually coloured messages

In a judgment dated 27th September 2017, the Delhi High Court in the case of Jahid Ali vs Union of India,. upheld the dismissal of the Petitioner on the ground that Petitioner had sent sexually coloured messages to his Superior Lady Officer. FACTS: The Petitioner, aged about 29 years, was appointed as Constable(Nursing Orderly) in …

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Delhi High Court on compulsory retirement and ‘welcome’ sexual advances

compulsory retirement

In a judgement dated 25th November, 2019, the Delhi High Court in the case of Ajay Tiwary vs University of Delhi & Ors. upheld the compulsory retirement of the Petitioner and rejected the Petitioner’s contention that it would not be an act of sexual harassment if the student had allegedly consented to any acts. FACTS: …

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Himachal Pradesh High Court on Transfer of Complainant pending inquiry and Retaliation

Transfer of Complainant pending inquiry

In a Nutshell: The Himachal Pradesh High Court, in the case of Sunita Kumari Vs. State of Himachal Pradesh decided on 10th September, 2020, dismissed Petitioner’s Petition which alleged that she was transferred from her posting as retaliation because she had filed a sexual harassment complaint FACTS: The Petitioner was serving as a Health officer …

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Kerala High Court on Transfer of Respondent pending inquiry into Sexual Harassment complaint

In a Nutshell: Kerala High Court, in the case of Saikuttan O.N. vs Kerela State Electricity Board decided on 11th August, 2020 dismissed Petitioner’s Petition challenging the transfer order during pendency of sexual harassment complaint against him. FACTS: The Petitioner worked as a Driver Grade – I at Electrical Division, Cherthala for Kerala State Electricity …

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Kerala High Court decides on Online Sexual Harassment, Cyber Bullying & More

Online Sexual Harassment

In a nutshell: Kerala High Court, in the case of Majeesh K Matthew. vs State of Kerala and Ors decided on 20th June, 2018, rejected the Bail application of accused for posting comments in their Facebook pages making scurrilous comments against the complainant along with pictures of her with her husband making her the subject …

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High Court of Kerala on Consent and Sexual Activity

Consent and Sexual Activity

In a Nutshell: Kerala High Court, in the case of Thankappan P.K. vs State of Kerala and Ors decided on 29th June, 2020, upheld the conviction of a rape accused and made specific observations regarding what constitutes as ‘Consent’ and held that surrender can never be perceived as consensual acts of sexual intercourse and consent …

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Sole testimony of victim of sexual harassment is acceptable in a departmental inquiry

In the case of Bhuwan Chandra Pandey vs. Union of India and Ors., before the High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital, Decided On: 15.06.2020, the question that came up for consideration was – is the sole testimony of the victim of sexual abuse sufficient to hold the perpetrator guilty of misconduct in a departmental enquiry?Brief …

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The Supreme Court on legality of parallel departmental and criminal court proceedings

legality of parallel departmental

The Supreme Court on 8th April 2019, in the case of The Secretary, Lucy Sequeira Trust And Anr. v. Kailash Ramesh Tandel held that departmental proceeding and proceedings in a criminal court are completely different as the purpose, the standard of proof and the approach are all completely different. The initiation of the process in …

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Madras High Court on procedural inadequacies in an inquiry by an internal committee

High Court on procedural inadequacies

In a judgment dated 1st August, 2019, the Madras High Court in the case of R. Patchaiappan vs. The Principal Secretary Cum Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Endowment Department and Ors. held that an inquiry conducted by an internal committee under The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (“Law”) should …

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The Calcutta High Court on harmonious reading of the Act and Service Rules

High Court on role of internal committee

In Ms. Debjani Sengupta v. Institute of Cost Accountants of India, the Calcutta High Court on 3 May, 2019, decided on the role of internal committee proceedings, when service rules are in place and held that a harmonious reading of the The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (“Act”) …

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Delhi High Court dismisses a case of false sexual harassment allegation

false sexual harassment allegation

Recently on 17th July, 2019, the Delhi High Court in the case of Rashi v. The Union of India held that filing a false sexual harassment allegation, under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (“Law”), as an afterthought after getting dismissed will not be tolerated. Facts: Rashi (“Petitioner”) …

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Kerala High Court adopts a lenient view against student accused of sexual harassment

student accused of sexual harassment

Recently, in a judgment dated 22nd July 2019, the Kerala High Court in the case of Sree Shankar vs. The Principal, Sacred Heart College and Ors. held that an internal committee and Principal of a college looking into student accused of sexual harassment must take a lenient view keeping in mind the age and future …

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Karnataka High Court directs action for mishandling inquiry against a professor

High Court on mishandling inquiry

Recently, in a judgment dated 6th August 2019, the Karnataka High Court in the case of Giridhar Madras v. The Indian Institute of Science and Ors. set aside the inquiry report against a professor and directed the concerned authorities to initiate action against the Director of The Indian Institute of Science (“College”) and members of …

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Does Section 377 of IPC have anything to do with Sexual Harassment at Workplace?

On 6th September, 2018, the Supreme Court of India has passed a landmark judgment on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (“IPC”). The provision criminalized consensual sex between homosexual adults grossly violating their constitutional right to life. The Court held that this Section is unconstitutional to the extent that it criminalizes consensual sex. Section …

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External member does not only have to be independent but also must have expertise in issues related to sexual harassment

external member expertise on sexual harassment

In the case of Ruchika Singh Chhabra vs. M/S. Air France India and Anr., decided by the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi on 30th May, 2018,  Ruchika Singh Chhabra (“Appellant”) a former employee of Air France India (“Respondent”), alleged that she had been sexually harassed by another employee, Stanislas Brun. She lodged a …

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Indian High Courts on Suspension of Respondent during Pendency of Inquiry

Indian High Courts on Suspension of Respondent

Section 12 (1) of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act and Rules, 2013 (“Law”) provides that during the pendency of an inquiry, on a written request made by the aggrieved woman, the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, may recommend to the employer to: transfer …

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