Directs TC, others to appear in Court on July 24

Court takes cognizance of allegations of POSH Act Violation in Sextortion case; summons ex DGP, ATC, ARTO others

11/07/2019

Jammu, Jul 10: In a complaint filed against Dr S P Vaid (IPS) presently Transport Commissioner J&K, S. Swaran Singh Asst. Transport Commissioner J&K, Rachna Sharma (KAS) ARTO Udhampur, Rehana Tabassum (KAS) ARTO flying squad, Jammu and Roopali Sharma Legal Assistant by sexual harassment victim (name with held) the Sub-Judge Jammu Pawan Kumar Sharma after hearing Adv AK Sawhney appearing for the Victim took cognizance and issued summons to Dr S P Vaid IPS, ex DGP presently Transport Commi-ssioner J&K, S. Swaran Singh Asst. Transport Commissioner J&K, Rachna Sharma (KAS) ARTO Udhampur, Rehana Tabassun (KAS) ARTO flying squad, Jammu and Roopali Sharma Legal Assistant. The Sub Judge Jammu directed the accused to appear in court on July 24, 2019.
While summoning the respondents, Sub-Judge Jammu Pawan Kumar Sharma observed "this is a complaint under the (sexual Harassment of Women on Work Place Act). The Complainant claims that she is working in MV Dept where one of his colleague Chander Mohan Gupta who is Motor Vehicle Inspector has sexually harassed her. She lodged a complaint under the act and has also registered an FIR in Police Station Gandhi Nagar. In the Present complaint, the complainant has sought action against the accused/respondents u/s 26 of the Act for contravening the provisions of the Act. The complainant claims that the accused No. 2 has not formed the committees as provided under the Act and accused no 1 has illegally formed the committees in contravention of the Act and accused n. 3 to 5 have acted against the provisions of the Act and hence prayed for penalty against the accused. The act does not provide any specific procedure to be adopted by the Court although it is mentioned that cases shall be non-cognizable in nature, take up and try this case as summons' case." the Court observed.
It was alleged in the complaint “By that time on 28-05-2019, the complainant had approached the SHO Police Station, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu for lodging of FIR but the FIR was not lodged because of influence of the delinquent accused Sh Chander Mohan Sharma. Though under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and Rules it was duty of the employer to provide assistance to the complainant to lodge her complaint but in the present case the accused no. 1 though was well versed with the criminal law being an IPS officer and an senior and seasoned officer and had the knowledge that the sexual assault and harassment/ sextortion are cognizable offences still scuttled all the moves of the complainant and did not provide any assistance to the complainant for lodging the complaint under the penal Code. Thus the contravention of the Act by the accused no. 1/ employer." It was further alleged that in this case the complainant has not been given an opportunity of being heard and then a copy of the finding were to be provided before report/ recommendations so that the complainant could have made representation against the findings before the committee. Therefore the accused no. 3 , 4 and 5 have committed the breach of the mandate of law.
It was alleged that law was contravened as the inquiry was virtually held "exparte" neither any witnesses of the complainant nor complainant's statements were recorded and the inquiry report was purportedly signed on 14.6.2019 (back dated) and provided to the complainant/ victim on 18.6.2019 but strangely the same was provided/ informed to the delinquent accused Sh Chander Mohan Sharma on before 11.6.2019, as on the day the interim bail was granted to the accused/ delinquent the said accused was privy to the report as the accused were hand in glove with the accused and the inquiry was a mere eye wash to exonerate the sexual harassment accused and to ensure his safe bail from the Court of law.
That as per the so called eye wash inquiry report provided to the complainant the same was signed 06-06-2019, by the accused 3,4,5 and another member of the NGO but provided to the employer later; but to the accused Sh Chander Mohan Sharma first; and not to the victim complainant till next 8-10 days and kept the victim in dark.
That the accused no. 2 being Asst Transport Commissioner and accused no. 3-5 being Committee members - accused herein have connived, conspired and abetted the contravention of the POSH Act and Rules 2013 and made it a dead letter both in terms of implementation and conducting inquiry as per rules. Also the accused no. 1 being employer of the complainant too has failed to perform his duties and also committed the offence as punishable under section 26 of the POSH Act 2013 for all the violations and contraventions as explained and submitted above, thus the complaint against these accused, it was alleged in the complaint.

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