In a major decision, the Karnataka High Court has ruled that termination of service was not the ground to file a sexual harassment case. Quashing the complaint, the court ordered an investigation in the case filed in this regard.
The bench headed by Justice K. Natarajan gave the order recently (November 4) in which it was stated that “merely the officer, in-charge of the post office removed the employee from the service, that itself can’t be a ground for filing a complaint and dragging them to court on the allegation of sexual assault on the victim.”
The complainant woman, a temporary Group-D employee had lodged a complaint with Basavanagudi police station in Bengaluru on May 16, 2018 alleging sexual harassment.
The complaint was filed against postmasters Radhakrishna and Hanumantaiah. She maintained in her complaint that her mother was a contract worker at the post office.
When she fell sick, the complainant went to the post office. She worked under Radhakrishna for ten years and later Hanumantaiah became the postmaster. The complaint alleged that Hanumantaiah insulted and threatened to terminate her.
The complainant maintained that “unable to take the torture, she attempted to commit suicide. Later, Hanumantaiah expressed his sexual desires, which were turned down. Radhakrishna took me in his car to a park and attempted to harass me sexually and I was rescued by strangers.”
The police had filed a charge sheet against both accused postmasters. The case is in the inquiry stage at the 37th ACMM court. The accused had filed a petition before the High Court seeking quashing of proceedings against them.
The court stated that it was mentioned in the complaint that accused Radhakrishna had taken the complainant to the park and attempted sexual harassment. The police have not tried to find out whether the mentioned park exists, did the complainant and accused visit the park? Is there any CCTV footage?
The court further stated that the prosecution has failed to provide any evidence to prove charges and hence quashied the proceedings.