CASE: Dr. P.S. Malik v. High Court of Delhi
CORAM: Hon’ble Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Hon’ble Justice Asha Menon
On Friday, the Delhi High Court dismissed a written petition filed by a former Delhi Higher Judicial Services (DHJS) officer who was dismissed from service after a female of Ahalmad District Court, Dwarka, filed charges of sexual harassment at work. A divisional bench consisting of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Asha Menon delivered the judgement.
The factual matrix of the petition dates back to the year 2016, when the petitioner was posted to the District Court of Dwarka after being elevated to DHJS. The female filed two complaints of sexual harassment on 5 July and 11 July 2016.
Under Section 4 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Work (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, an Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) was formed on 19 July 2016. The ICC, however, has not found a proven claim against the petitioner.
The High Court subsequently instituted disciplinary proceedings on 16 November 2016 for a major penalty under Rule 8 of the Rules of All India Services (Discipline and Appeal), 1969. The inquiry was subsequently conducted from 19 September 2017 to 19 February 2018. On 9 March 2018, an inquiry report was issued.
The petitioner sought a writ petition before the Supreme Court, being aggrieved by this, in which the Court’s vide judgement of 21.08.2019 disposed of the petition in order that the investigation report of 9 March 2018 was a report under Section 13 of the Sexual Harassment Act and was appealable under Section 18 of the same Act.
After the approval of Government of NCT of Delhi on the recommendation of the High Court the petitioner was dismissed from service vide letter dated 16th March 2020. The petitioner requesting restoration of his service in the DHJS with all consequential benefits has filed the present petition.
The bench after analyzing the facts of the present case noted,
“As far as the conclusion reached in the Report dated 9th March, 2018 that the allegations in the complaint of Ms. M against the petitioner, of sexual harassment at workplace, have been proved, is concerned, neither has the counsel for the petitioner addressed any argument on the same nor do we, after having judicially examined the said report, find any flaw whatsoever therein; rather, having judicially examined the report, not only as to the procedure followed and opportunities at each and every stage provided to the petitioner but also on merits, we are more than convinced, of the conclusion having been rightly drawn on the basis of material on record, that the allegations of sexual harassment against the petitioner, stand proved.”
The court dismissed the petition when making the said observation.