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Delhi High Court Levy Cost Against The Employer For Dragging Inquiry In A Posh Complaint

By - King Stubb & Kasiva on March 16, 2023

The Delhi High Court[1] in a writ petition filed by the petitioners against the order of the employer directing the internal committee to re-examine the complaint of sexual harassment at the workplace held that:In such complaints and matters, the constitution of the internal committee is of utmost importance and the same has to be in accordance with the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. The management and authorities of the organisations have to behave in a responsible manner and on the mere ground that the constitution was incorrect, a re-examination of the whole proceedings cannot be directed under the present facts and circumstances of the case.

The court also observed that the complaint is dated back to 2019; and the complainant cannot be harassed and put to inconvenience to appear again and again before the internal committee (even if such internal committee is related to a connected organisation) and be expected to produce witnesses to support her case, all over again. The court said that even the witnesses may not be available now in the organisation.

The court concluded stating that institutions cannot escape liability for dragging on these sensitive complaints and ordered Rs.1,00,000/- as costs against the employer, which was directed to be paid to the petitioner.

[1] W.P.(C) 14403/2022 and CM APPL. 43979/2022

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