In Anita Suresh vs. Union of India & Ors. decided by Delhi High Court on July 9, 2019, where the Petitioner sought directions from the court to put retirement benefits of the Respondent on hold, to initiate independent inquiry against him and to prosecute him.

The Petitioner had filed a complaint against the Respondent on July 8, 2011 while she was working as an Assistant Director with ESI Corporation in Manesar, Gurgaon. The Petitioner alleged that the Director General misbehaved with her and made attempts of sexual harassment.

In the enquiry conducted by the Internal Committee (“IC/Committee”) the Respondent denied all the allegations made by the petitioner and stated that the Petitioner made the complaint because of the grudge against him due to certain official work disposed by him in her absence.

 After a detailed investigation which involved examining eight witnesses, IC submitted its report on January 20, 2012 in which it observed that the exact content the incidents dated July 7, 2011 could not be established. The Committee gave benefit of doubt to the Respondent and recommended relocating both the Petitioner and Respondent from their present posting.  

 The Court in its order stated that the complaint filed by the Petitioner on July 8, 2011 appears to be false. The complaint contained two incidents out of which the first incident was in the presence of the Petitioner’s colleagues whereas the second incident was in the presence of the staff and other members.

During the inquiry proceedings, the Petitioner could not give the name of any person present at the time of the incidents. The Petitioner was shown the record of the staff persons present on duty on the date of the incident but still she could not recollect the names of any colleague/staff member. It is not believable that the Petitioner would not remember the names of any colleague/staff member.

 The Committee examined all the persons who were on duty on that day but no one supported the allegations of the Petitioner. The Petitioner did not mention the alleged comments made by the Respondent in the complaint on the ground of modesty. The Petitioner did not even disclose the alleged comments before the Committee. No reason or justification was been given by the Petitioner for not disclosing the same before the Committee. The entire complaint of the Petitioner appears to be false and has been filed with some ulterior motive.

 The Court in its order also mentioned that the Petitioner did not have a clean service record as she was issued charge sheet on two occasions. First charge sheet was issued within her first year of service for major penalty proceedings for suppressing material information but a lenient view was taken as she had just joined the services and a penalty of “Censure” was imposed upon her. In 2006 another charge sheet was issued for gross misconduct and for exhibiting lack of devotion towards duty. A penalty of reduction of pay by one stage for one year was imposed. In 2011 again a written memorandum was issued against the Petitioner for insubordination and gross misconduct.

 The Court dismissed the writ petition and imposed a cost of Rs. 50,000 on the Petitioner. The Court also directed the Employer of the Petitioner to initiate appropriate action against the Petitioner for filing false complaint against the Respondent.

Rachna Roy

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