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Petition alleges sexual harassment of AIR radio jockeys,HC notice to govt

Bench seeks response from I&B Ministry,Prasar Bharati CEO by May 15.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Published: April 4, 2013 1:49 am

Bench seeks response from I&B Ministry,Prasar Bharati CEO by May 15.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre and the CEO of Prasar Bharati on a PIL alleging sexual harassment of women radio presenters working at the All India Radio FM Gold and FM Rainbow channels.

The PIL,filed by social worker Meera Mishra through advocate Sugriva Dubey,pointed to media reports that despite being a government body,the AIR and Prasar Bharati did not have a proper mechanism to deal with complaints of sexual harassment and had not even publicised the Vishaka guidelines against sexual harassment at workplace.

In the petition,Mishra said she had learnt that radio presenters had repeatedly complained about sexual harassment to the department,Information and Broadcasting Ministry and the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).

The petitioner called for “strong measures” by the Central government and Prasar Bharati to “stop sexual discrimination,exploitation and harassment taking place at their workplace in the offices of AIR throughout the country”.

The petitioner also sought court directions to the Centre and Prasar Bharati to formulate concrete policies and guidelines regarding service conditions and other protection measures for female workers.

According to the petition,female RJs,most of whom are contract workers and not permanent workers,were facing various forms of sexual harassment ranging from non-availability of night cabs for the ride home to direct harassment through demand of sexual favours by senior executives.

“Five days after Parliament passed the sexual harassment at workplace Bill,the I&B Ministry has been caught in an embarrassing position with over 25 RJs complaining against the senior management in AIR,” the petition stated. The PIL also stated that the All India Radio Broadcasting Professionals Association (AIRBPA) had sent several representations to the Ministry and the Prasar Bharati CEO but no action was taken.

The bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain issued notice to the Ministry and the Prasar Bharati CEO and sought their response to the petition by May 15.

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