-----"Effective Compliance with SHWW (P,P &R) Act 2013, in Letter & Spirit-----"
The Loss of Life, arising out of "allegations" / Complaints of Sexual Harassment at Workplace, naturally likeli to "evoke" responses, re-actions, sense of guild and or shame, as it were and host of Feelings for the "Deceased" against who the allegations/ complaints were reported, lodged, registed and taken cognizance of. as well as the Aggrieved Women-Complainants.
What went wrong?
The Press Reports added, inter alia, that the Police/Law & Order Authority have Registered "Offence of Abetment to Suicide" against the i) Aggrieved Wome-Complainants, ii) the Management (Employer) of the Establishment concerned and iii) the Internal Committee Members.
The Employer/Management, issued a Written Statement maintaining that the .."Order of Suspension from Duty" was issued in "conformity" with the "Regulations" of the Establishment relating to " Sexual Misconduct".... So that the ICC Could carry out a reasonable investigation into the allegations" ......and ... that it was a difficult time for all of us,.... and that.. our hearts go out to his family in this time of grief....and that.....we implore the public and media to give them space and "dignity" they deseve.
Points to Ponder for all of us, especially now and hereinafter, are:
1. What dignity, Space, Reasonable Opportunity in accordance with the Principles of Natural Justice and as specified in the SHWW (P,P&R) Act 2013 & the Rules Were given to, afforded to shown to the Resondent when the SH Complaints against him were received or acted upon?
2. Was he given an Opportunity (Show-Cause Notice orCharge-Sheet or Explanantion Letter as known) to know for himself the "Allegations" leveled against him - Details of Date, Time, Place and ocuurence etc?; and
3. Was he given opportunity to Submit His Written Explanant/Reply in his defence, to disprove, controvert the
allegations leveled against him in the Explanantion-Seeking Letter issued to him?
4. Was his Written Explanation-in-Defence, once received/submitted, duly Considered with Due Diligence before
before the the Employer (the Punishing Authority) before deciding on Signing & Issuing Suspension Order?
5. Was all Secrecy /Confidentiality Oberserved, faithfully and properly and How come "the identity of the Complainant as well as the Respondent " made known to the Public and others?
Additionally, it would be Eye-Opening Experience for rest of the other Presiding Officersand the Members of Every Internal Committees in the Country to come to know, to "reflect on" the 'causes'/ reasons for the "offence" of Abetment to Suicide as invoked in against the IC Members of the Establishment under reference.
The "indictment" draws attention to the 2016 Ruling of Delhi High Court, who dealing with another Sexual Harasssment Complaint and the "Findings " of the then ICC ( Internal Complaints Committee) categoricaly, Conclusively and Definitely, Pointed Out/Ruled ...Don't Soil the Image of the Respondent/ the Accused Person against who allegations were/are lodged".
The High Court also reminded that ICC is meant to tackle SH at Workplace Complaint, not to tarnish the Reputation of the Respondent untill proven Guilty, Go by Evidence presented before the ICC, Not by Lack of Evidence. Lets all examine the HC's " 'Observation" quoted below;
...... "The Dignity of neither Party can be "trifled with" in an Inquiry Proceedings."
Let us all Be and Remain Effectiveby Doing Right Thing Right, First Time, Every Time.
31 Dec 2018 31st December 2018 From India, Delhi