Women members of Panchshila Club on Wednesday alleged that DCW chief Swati Maliwal ‘abused’ her office in a case of alleged sexual harassment against the club’s president and former Delhi Chief Secretary Omesh Saigal and demanded strict action against her.
Terming the allegations against Saigal as ‘false, malicious and mala fide’, the members have written to the Delhi Police Commissioner urging him to cancel the FIR in the matter.
Delhi Police have registered a case under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code against Saigal on Saturday after a complaint of a 52-year-old woman member of the club was forwarded by DCW.
The charge was denied by Saigal.
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“We do not support the complaint made by the former club member. We strongly denounce same as false, frivolous, malicious and mala fide. And the act and the conduct of Maliwal is equally condemnable, hence we call for a stricter action against her for abuse of her office for this unlawful, vindictive act,” the club members said in the letter.
According to police, the woman alleged that the accused harassed her by frequently bumping into her while swimming in the pool of the club.
The woman had also filed a complaint in the club register and the issue was taken up by the managing committee of the club which further formed a sub-committee to look into the allegations. But, as per her complaint, the committee instead of taking action against Saigal, suspended her and her husband from the club. The woman then approached DCW.
Saigal had countered allegations against him, claiming it was a ‘minor incident’ and the complainant tried to convert it into a ‘major’ issue.
“It was a minor incident which she tried to make into a major issue. There are two swimming lanes and she complained that my hand touched her. I have written to the Deputy Commissioner of Police explaining the whole thing,” he said.