HC directs company to compensate for terminating woman from services who raised sexual harassment complaint

A private company has been directed by the High Court of Delhi to make a payment of Rs 1.2 lakhs as compensation to a woman who was allegedly terminated after she raised an allegation of sexual harassment.

Justice Pratiba M Singh passed the order. The interim order was passed in a writ petition filed by a woman against the employer company for the company not forming internal compliance committee for sexual harassment according to the 2013 POSH Act and as per the guidelines laid down by the Supreme court in the Vishakha case.

The petitioner alleged the termination of her employment to be “malicious, void, bad in law and violative of fundamental rights” and sought compensation of Rs 1 crore from the respondent company for the “grievous injury and irreparable damage done to her physically and psychologically”.

On receiving the woman’s complaint, notices were issued to the employer company and the alleged harasser by the Delhi Commission of women. But there was no response from the receiver’s side. This forced the complainant to move the HC.

“Without prejudice to the contention of the Respondents No.4 and 5 and considering that the Petitioner’s case is that she has been terminated after she raised the allegation of sexual harassment, it is directed that a lump sum amount of Rs 1,20,000/- shall be paid to the Petitioner, which shall be subject to the further orders of this Court” The Court has clarified that the payment is without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the parties,” the order read.

The company has been directed to make the payment within a period of two weeks. The order stated that no opportunity shall be granted to file any reply if the company does not respond within a period of four weeks.

Read whole order here

Angel Mary Aju

Law student at Government Law College, Mumbai.
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