Mumbai: In a unique punishment, annual increments of a deputy Legal Advisor in Enforcement Directorate have been ordered to be stopped for a period of three years for allegedly sexually harassing a woman employee in the agency.
The order was issued on June 21 by the Competent Disciplinary Authority (CDA) under the Ministry of Finance.
As per the complaint made by the woman in year 2012, the deputy Legal Advisor A C Singh had called her frequently to Delhi under the pretext of meetings and briefing counsels of the Supreme Court and on all such occasions he had sexually harassed her.
"The Competent Disciplinary Authority considered the report of the internal complaint committee and the advice of UPSC, representation of A C Singh and relevant records...
"It agreed with the UPSC that ends of justice would be met if the penalty of reduction to a lower stage in the time scale of pay by three stages for a period of three years is imposed upon Singh with the direction that he will not earn increments of pay during the period of such reduction", stated the order of CDA signed by Under Secretary V Sreekumar.
However, the order did not specify the exact years of suspension of Singh's increments.
The woman had initially made an oral complaint of sexual harassment against Singh with ED in July 2012. Her statement was later recorded in August that year.
Later, she filed a formal complaint in December 2012 after which the matter was referred to the internal Complaint committee of the agency.
The panel concluded in January 2014 that allegations against Singh were proved and recommended to CDA the imposition of appropriate major penalty as well as compensation of Rs 10,000 to be paid to the employee, stated the order.
The complainant had alleged that Singh started harassing her verbally after she joined the ED office in Delhi, and later when she was posted in Mumbai he called her and made lewd remarks.
According to the woman, Singh also pressurised her to withdraw her plaint and also threatened her against reporting anything.
During the inquiry against him, Singh said the concerned employee was incompetent and foisting a false case against him over her fear of losing the job, the order said.
However, the CDA said there is no merit in his representation.