August 22, 2008 1:47:39 am
The case of Nisha Bhatia, the RAW director who attempted suicide at the Prime Minister’s Office alleging that her sexual harassment complaints weren’t being addressed, has reached Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with RAW chief Ashok Chaturvedi briefing him on her allegations and the recommendations of the committee that probed her complaints.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Chaturvedi said that a “preliminary inquiry” was on against Bhatia following which a formal Departmental Inquiry could be initiated.
Yesterday, she was issued marching orders from the agency’s training institute in Gurgaon — where she has been working and residing for several years — and asked to report to headquarters.
“This is a sad day for the agency and I am quite disgusted with the turn of events,” Chaturvedi said. He confirmed that Bhatia’s principal allegation was against Sunil Uke, a Joint-Secretary level officer of the Indian Revenue Service, who had since completed his deputation with RAW and had reverted back to his parent cadre.
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“The inquiry committee submitted its report on May 19…it concluded that there was nothing to substantiate the allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination made by the complainant, there are serious charges against her of indulging in gross indiscipline,..There will be serious repercussions for her to face,” Chaturvedi warned.
He added: “While Uke gave his statements to the Committee, Nisha Bhatia was sent seven written summons to appear but she did not come even once. Neither could she furnish any proof of her allegations. There are several other senior lady officers in RAW. Never has the agency faced such a situation before and I am totally foxed as to why a senior officer should indulge in such mud-slinging.”
Speaking to The Indian Express yesterday, Bhatia had said that she would soon decide on her next step which may include filing yet another complaint, this time in court.
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