J&K HC quashes FIR in Sexual Harassment Case of IAF Pilot After Parties Settles the Matter.

J&K HC quashes FIR in Sexual Harassment Case of IAF Pilot After Parties Settles the Matter.

Introduction

An FIR regarding a case of sexual harassment involving a female pilot in the Indian Air Force (IAF) and her male wing commander has been quashed by the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. After years of litigation, the parties reached a settlement that led to this decision.

Facts of the Case

The wing commander was accused of sexually harassing a female colleague, and as a result, a FIR dated 11.02.2021 was filed under Section 354-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) with the Satwari Police Station in Jammu. The female pilot claimed that the male wing commander touched her inappropriately, made offensive remarks, and asked for sexual favors.

Petitioner’s Arguments

In her petition, Officer X claimed that the wing commander had touched her inappropriately and without permission, in addition to making offensive remarks, thus violating her right to privacy. She expressed concerns regarding the investigation carried out by the IAF’s Internal Complaints Committee (IC), claiming it was unjust and in violation of the 2013 Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act (POSH Act). The court had stayed the proceedings before the IC.

Respondent’s Arguments

The wing commander, identified as Y in the court judgment, filed a petition seeking to quash the FIR. During the proceedings, he communicated with the woman officer, which led to a mutual settlement. The wing commander pledged to honor this settlement and not publicize the matter.

Court’s Decision

The Court pointed out that given the mutual settlement, it would be pointless to carry out the investigation under Section 354-A of the IPC. The woman officer had accepted the wing commander’s communication, indicating no objection to quashing the FIR, the court noted, and both parties had resolved their issues. The Court therefore issued an order to quash FIR.

РBy Anaida Khan Pursuing 4th year of BALLB (Hons.) from Dharmashashtra National Law University, Jabalpur

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