New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) Members of the Panchshila Club on Wednesday demanded strict action against Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal for acting in connivance with a 52-year-old woman complainant in a case of alleged sexual harassment registered against former Delhi Chief Secretary Omesh Saigal.
The club’s response came after a case of sexual harassment under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code was registered against Saigal on Saturday after the complaint of a woman was forwarded to the Delhi Police by the DCW. The charge was denied by Saigal.
Coming out in support of Saigal, the Managing Committee members of Panchshila club, in a statement said: “We do not support the complaint made by the former club member. We strongly denounce same as false, frivolous, malicious and malafide.
“And the act and the conduct of Maliwal is equally condemnable, hence we call for a stricter action against her for abuse of her office for this unlawful, vindictive act,” the club members added.
According to police, the alleged incident took place on June 18, when the woman went for swimming in the pool at Panchshila Club, of which Saigal is also president, in south Delhi. In her complaint, she mentioned that Saigal blocked her way while she was swimming.
The complainant, who approached the DCW on June 23, claimed that Saigal had on earlier occasions also deliberately blocked her way while swimming which led her into arguments with him.
DCW chief Swati Maliwal took strong note of the suspension of club membership of the complainant and her husband.
“Instead of forwarding the complaint to the Local Complaints Committee under the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Work Place Act, 2013, the complaint was heard by a sub-committee set up by the Management Committee of the club. Also, subsequently, in blatant disregard of the act, the club membership of the complainant and her husband was suspended,” the DCW said in a notice to the club.
Saigal, meanwhile, told IANS: “Charges against me are absolutely false.”
“I have also filed a defamation case against the woman in Saket court and a notice was served to her on June 22,” he added.