Institutions Can’t Escape Liability For Dragging On Sensitive Sexual Harassment Complaints: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court passed a judgement on 1st February, 2023. This was seen in the case of Petitioner  Vs  Union of India and Ors 2023/DHC/000824 and the case was presided over by Hon’ble JUSTICE PRATHIBA M. SINGH.


In this case a woman who had filed a complaint in July, 2019, to the Head of HR of IFCI Factors Limited (IFL) alleging sexual harassment by a senior official. Thereafter, the complaint was placed before the Managing Director-IFL who in turn forwarded the complaint withhis remarks to IFCI-HR & CVO, IFCI Group to take up the matter in their Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) as the accused personnel was an employee of IFCI. ICC gave there report on march   2020 directing the accused employee to give a written apology(uner section8 ofPOSH act).The employee however filed an appeal to the Appellate Authority of IFCI Ltd. (Board of Directors) and a re-examination was directed to be conducted by ICC of IFCI.

The petitioner refuse to participate in the re-examination petition , in this petition, on the ground that since the re-examination has been directed by the ICC of IFCI Ltd, she no longer wishes to participate in the said enquiry as the complaint dates back to 2019 and she cannot be subjected to a second round of proceedings before the ICC, as the same is extremely frustrating and torturous.


The Delhi HC held that  institutions  cannot escape liability for dragging on these sensitive complain .The re examination of the whole proceedings cannot be directed under this case .and  in  sexual harassment complain inquiry needs to be by a duly Constituted ICC and the same needs to be complete in all aspects. Disposing of the plea, court directed to pay a cost of Rs. 1lakh to petitioner by IFCI Ltd. due to re examination was directed.

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Judgement reviewed by Drishti Verma

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