Kerala High Court quashes an inquiry report under the POSH Act for not serving copies of complaint and examining witnesses in the absence of the petitioner.

Posted On - 13 April, 2024 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva

The petitioner in WP (C) No. 9331 of 2024 had approached the Hon’ble Kerala High Court for quashing inquiry report among others and to reinstate the petitioner back to service. A sexual harassment complaint had been filed against the petitioner and proceedings were initiated by Internal Committee, however, neither the complaint copy nor the documents were served on the petitioner. The petitioner contended that the enquiry against him was conducted in violation of Rule 7 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Rules, 2013 and it infringed upon the principles of natural justice. Moreover, the copies of the complaints were not served, and witnesses were examined in his absence. Therefore, the Hon’ble High Court quashed the inquiry report being issued in violation of the principles of natural justice and contrary to Rule 7 of the said Rules. Consequently, the Hon’ble High Court directed the formation of a new committee to conduct the inquiry.