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HC seeks Centre`s reply on Vishaka norms in foreign airline

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought response of the Centre, Delhi government and Srilankan Airlines on a plea by a Indian woman employee of the carrier for action against it over non-implementation of Vishaka guidelines on dealing with cases of sexual harassment at workplace.



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday sought response of the Centre, Delhi government and Srilankan Airlines on a plea by a Indian woman employee of the carrier for action against it over non-implementation of Vishaka guidelines on dealing with cases of sexual harassment at workplace.

A vacation bench of justice Sunita Gupta issued notice to Civil Aviation and Women and Child Development ministries as well as the Delhi government, the airline and its official, against whom allegations of sexual harassment have been levelled by the woman, and sought their response by July 15, the next date of hearing.
The woman, a sales executive in the foreign airline, in her petition filed through advocate Ajay Verma has alleged that her complaint of sexual harassment against a senior colleague, a Sri Lankan, has been pending since 2009 and the airline has not taken any action against him.

During the day`s proceedings, Verma contended that Vishaka guidelines have not been implemented by Srilankan Airlines Ltd or the Delhi government which was to constitute a local committee to hear complaints of sexual harassment at workplace.

Her petition has sought government direction to ensure implementation of Vishaka guidelines as well as provisions of the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act in all airlines which falling under the jurisdiction of the Civil Aviation Ministry.

It has said the woman was transferred to Kochi from Delhi as a result of the complaint against the senior official and sought protection from transfer or termination while the petition is pending before the court.
The Srilankan Airlines had in a statement yesterday refuted allegations of inaction in the "sexual harassment" case saying a competent committee set up under the Vishaka guidelines has already investigated the matter before closing it in 2012.

However, at the same time, the Airline, in the statement, said it is already in the process of obtaining legal advice from its lawyers in India and will take appropriate action.

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