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Sexual harassment: HC restrains NCW from proceeding on complaint

The Bombay High Court Wednesday restrained the National Commission for Women (NCW) from proceeding on a complaint filed by a former employee of accounting firm KPMG.



Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Wednesday restrained the National Commission for Women (NCW) from proceeding on a complaint filed by a former employee of accounting firm KPMG alleging sexual harassment at work place when she was employed there in 2005-06.

A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and M S Sonak stayed the order issued by NCW dated September 13 directing KPMG to file its reply to the complaint.

The High Court was hearing a petition filed by KPMG challenging the NCW order on the ground that the commission only had powers to recommend and not adjudicate on the complaint. The company relied on two judgements - one by the Supreme Court and another by the Delhi High Court.
Accepting this, the High Court today directed NCW and the complainant to file their replies to the petition by December 16. Until then, the NCW is restrained from proceeding on the hearing of the complaint.

In 2007, the complainant had sent legal notices to her senior colleagues, including KPMG India senior partner and head of its financial services, Vikram Singh, alleging sexual harassment.

The victim, who was employed with KPMG from 2005 to 2006, was dismissed from services. Following this, the woman approached the NCW, Maharashtra State Women`s Commission and the National Human Rights Commission.

A case was also lodged by the police against three officials of the company including Singh against whom the victim had levelled allegations of sexual harassment. The trial is pending before a local court.

From Zee News

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