GANGTOK, September 19: A compliant committee as contemplated by the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in a 1997 case is scheduled to be submit its report to the Sikkim High Court on Monday over the sexual harassment petition filed by one Sikkimese lady against an authority of Central Bank of India.
In its last hearing held on August 19, a division bench of High Court comprising of Chief Justice PD Dinakaran and Justice SP Wandgi had directed the bank management to get necessary instructions on the complaint committee as the grievance placed by the victim was not yet referred to the committee till date. The court also directed that the instructions over the report of the committee should be complied on September 20.
The petitioner, Seema Lepcha had lodged a complaint against the bank’s chief manager of sexually harassing her on March 1, 2008.
However, police investigations in her complaint had concluded that no offence under section 509 of IPC (uttering any word or making any gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman) was made out against the accused person with regard to the complaint lodged by the petitioner. The chief judicial magistrate (East & North) had ordered reinvestigation and the second final report submitted on June 26, 2008 confirmed the conclusions of the first report, which prompted the victim to file a petition in the High Court.
During the hearing, the bank counsel submitted to the court that the grievance of the lady was not yet referred to the complaint committee at all till date. The court then directed the bank management to get necessary instructions from its head office as to whether any complaint committee as contemplated by the guidelines issued by the apex court in Vishaka & Others vs State of Rajasthan& Others in (1997) 6 SCC 241 has been constituted to get into the sexual harassment in working places of the bank.
The court also asked whether the grievance of the petitioner has already been referred to the complaint committee. If not, what was the reason for not referring the impugned grievance to the complaint committee?, the court asked. The court also asked on the status of proceedings or if the proceedings are already over, what were the findings of the committee.
The court further directed that if the proceedings are still continuing before the complaint committee, the same shall be expedited and completed within four weeks after giving fair and reasonable opportunity to all the parties concerned. The matter for reporting compliance was fixed on September 20.