Officials accused of sexual harassment entitled to get copy of complaint: CIC
Accused govt officials are entitled to get a copy of the complaint against them even if the allegations pertain to sexual harassment, the CIC said.
New Delhi: Accused government officials are entitled to get a copy of the complaint against them even if the allegations pertain to sexual harassment, the Central Information Commission has held.
While pulling up Delhi University for withholding records related to a complaint filed by PG students at GB Pant Hospital here against Dr Arun Lata Agarwal on the grounds that allegations pertained to sexual harassment, CIC said it could not "locate" any such allegation against her.
"In spite of repeated deep scrutiny, the Commission could not locate any point of allegation related to sexual harassment," Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said.
Acharyulu said the Central Public Information Officer should have seen the rules and FAQs circulated by the Department of Personnel and Training to understand that officers accused of sexual harassment were entitled to have a copy of the sexual harassment complaint against them.
"...The CPIO cannot deny the disclosure of the complaint related information or papers to the accused officer. It was not correct for CPIO to raise this kind of contention," Acharyulu said.
The case related to allegations of harassment levelled against Aruna Agarwal and her husband Sanjay Agarwal by nine PG students after which she was sent back to the Centre by Delhi Government.
Through the RTI application, Aruna Agarwal had sought the information related to the complaint and the inquiry from the University which refused claiming disclosure may hamper physical security of complainants and that it is held in fiduciary capacity.
During the hearing before CIC, the CPIO representing the University claimed that students had filed complaints against the Agarwal couple alleging sexual harassment and as per the law details about complaint and related information could not be given to the two doctors.