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Madras HC orders constitution of new panel to hear sexual harassment case at Kalpakkam Atomic Energy centre

🔴 The judge was allowing a writ petition from a woman staff member of the Centre alleging sexual harassment charges against a colleague.

By: PTI | Chennai |
December 15, 2021 7:23:29 am
The Madras High Court in Chennai. (File)

The Madras High Court has directed the Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre at Kalpakkam near Chennai to constitute a panel in accordance with Sec. 4 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 within a week, to hear a sexual harassment case by a woman staff member.

It is made clear that the NGO, to be appointed as the member of the Committee, must be an outsider, preferably outside Kalpakkam, Justice S M Subramaniam said in his recent order.

The judge was allowing a writ petition from a woman staff member of the Centre alleging sexual harassment charges against a colleague.

The judge passed the order after noting that the petitioner had undergone sufferings, more specifically, the matters are kept pending for about nearly eight years and even now, it has not reached finality.

“Under these circumstances, this Court has no option, but to direct the official respondents to constitute a committee in a time bound manner and complete the same as expeditiously as possible to avoid further lapses or defects in the enquiry,” the judge said.

The Committee shall conduct the enquiry, taking note of the evidence already considered by the earlier one, so also the report submitted and proceed further by providing opportunity to all the parties concerned. If necessary, take further evidence or otherwise, conclude the enquiry and submit a final report within six weeks.

On receipt of the enquiry reports, the authorities concerned, including the higher ups in Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai shall initiate further action both under the criminal law and under the service law as the case may be as applicable and as expeditiously as possible.

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