The Central Administrative Tribunal, New Delhi on 16th May 2008 in the matter of Chhttar Pal v. The Lt. Governor & Ors., observed that unless the previous conduct of the applicant was subject matter of the charge which the complainant has levied against him, the evidence on that behalf cannot be looked into.
Facts: One Kamini made a complaint against the applicant, which was addressed to the Director and to the enquiry officer alleging that the applicant in her absence and in the presence of others uttered filthy abuses. A departmental enquiry was initiated against the applicant after that complaint and based on hearsay evidence, he was held guilty by enquiry officer and was punished with removal from service by disciplinary authority. On appeal, the appellate authority reduced the punishment to reduction by five stages in the time scale of pay till his date of retirement.
In her statement of imputation of misconduct, it was mentioned that use of foul, abusive or unparliamentary language with sexually coloured remarks is attributed to the applicant in absence of the complainant on 11.02.1999. She was only told about the same by her colleagues.
Applicant has filed present application questioning the order passed by disciplinary authority and the order reducing his sentence.
- Whether one single incident of using foul, abusive, unparliamentary language with sexually coloured remarks would amount to sexual harassment of a women at workplace
- Whether the previous conduct of the applicant that may tend to show sexual harassment of a woman, when not made a part of the current complaint, can be looked into?
- The basic allegation against him was that he was a man of bad character who would keep an evil eye on the opposite sex, was abusive in nature and would have a great penchant for liquor.
- Unless previous conduct of the applicant was subject matter of the charge which the complainant has levied against him, the evidence led on that behalf cannot be looked into.
- Ms. Kamini was not present when the applicant is stated to have used abusive or sexually coloured language towards her. Whereas the abusive language used by the applicant would also have a demoralizing effect on working women in general and Ms. Kamini in particular, but the same cannot be said to be sexually coloured remarks, and thus exploitation of a female at workplace.
- The applicant might have used choicest abuses, the same shall not even remotely lead to an inference of the applicant making demand or request for sexual favour.
- The abusive outburst of the applicant may be actuated because of his disliking or even hatred towards complainant, for the reasons known to him, and the same may cause anguish and harassment as well, but the remarks cannot be termed to be sexually coloured.
- The Court set aside the orders and remit the matter to the disciplinary authority for re-determining the quantum of punishment by excluding the charge of sexual harassment of woman at workplace.
– Esha Shah, Paralegal