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Panel ‘clean chit’ to Haryana IAS officer Says no sexual harassment, could be work-related

June 14, 2018 05:07 AM

courstey THE TRIBUNE JUNE 14

Panel ‘clean chit’ to Haryana IAS officer
Says no sexual harassment, could be work-related
Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13

The Haryana State Commission for Women (HSCW) on Wednesday gave a clean chit to a senior bureaucrat on allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by a woman IAS officer, but at the same time advised him to improve his behaviour with subordinates.
HSCW chairperson Pratibha Suman said after hearing out the senior bureaucrat, it did not appear to be a case of sexual harassment, though it could be a case of work-related harassment.
“We heard the woman IAS officer on Monday, but the Additional Chief Secretary whom she had accused of sexual harassment sought three days’ time. On Wednesday, he submitted a point-by-point reply supported by documents on the allegations and pleaded innocence,” Suman said.
She said though the inquiry was not yet complete, “as we have summoned some more officers”, but after hearing both the woman IAS officer and her boss, it did not appear to be a case of sexual harassment.
When asked how the commission had arrived at the conclusion that this was not a case of sexual harassment when the inquiry was still in progress, Suman said preliminary findings have made it clear that sexual harassment is ruled out and the issue of behaviour has come to the fore in the commission’s own inquiries from other sources.
Later, the complainant also appeared before the commission and was closeted with the chairperson and the vice-chairperson for more than two hours. “At 2.30 pm, they (the commission) sent me an email asking me to come with all evidence by 3 pm. I told them I need at least a week,” the complainant said.
Commission vice-chairperson Preeti Bhardwaj, however, maintained that the complainant was not asked to appear, but since she came, they heard her for more than two hours. “She can take 10 days if she needs. The panel is here to help her out and reach at some logical conclusion as far as this matter is concerned without any hurry,” she added.

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