A woman IAS officer, posted in Haryana, on Sunday alleged sexual harassment by a senior civil servant for writing “adverse comments on official files”. In a post on social media website Facebook, the 28-year-old woman officer gave the details of the incident and alleged that she had been ‘threatened’ by the senior male official on May 22.
“He questioned me why I write on files the wrongs the department has done,” she wrote. She further said that the superior officer allegedly threatened her saying that he will “spoil her Annual Confidential Report (ACR) if she did not stop writing adverse comments on the official files”.
The accused officer, however, denied the allegations against him and said that the woman officer had been advised “not to find faults with the files which have got all necessary clearances from other officials”.
The Facebook post further read that the senior official summoned her on May 31 “and instructed his staff that no other person should enter the room”.
“He asked me to tell what type of work I wanted to do, whether I want departmental work or time-pass work… And then he asked me to stop writing adverse comments on the files….He told me that like a newly wed bride, she has to be explained everything, and he was explaining to me in the same manner. His behaviour seemed immoral,” she alleged.
The woman further claimed that the senior official harassed her on June 6 in his office, where he called her at 5 pm and made her stay there till 7.39 pm. “I was sitting on the other side of the table in front of him. He asked me to get up and come closer to his chair. When I reached the other side of the table, he pretended to teach me how to operate a computer. I rushed back to my chair… After some time, he got up. Pretending to find a paper, he came close to my chair and pushed it,” she wrote.
She also claimed that she is also being threatened by some of his colleagues, while another senior female officer has warned her against filing any complaint in writing.
The woman officer also claimed that her police security had been withdrawn and that she had sent an e-mail to the office of President of India with regard to the entire incident.
The accused official denied the allegations, calling them “false and baseless” and claimed that in fact, he had gone out of his way to help her after she was posted in the department he is heading. “We tried to provide all facilities to her. She did not even have a room for her office and I asked my staff to provide one. She was very well looked after by my staff,” he said.
“I have always tried to ensure that someone was present in my office while she was there. I don’t think that she was alone in my office, barring for a few minutes on a couple of occasions,” he claimed.
The woman officer, he said, had been “finding faults” with every official file and he had advised her that it was not appropriate for her to do so on the files which have got all necessary clearances from others.
“I advised her, thinking that she was a young officer. I tried to teach her. I asked her to stop writing adverse comments on every file she takes up and told her that in some other department people may spoil her ACR,” he said.
Countering his claims, the woman officer said, “Whatever he is saying in his defence is not correct. I have given full details in my Facebook post… Let the CCTV footage be examined. All things will become clear.”
(With PTI inputs)