Hyderabad: The complaint of a women union leader that she was sexually harassed by a senior officer of the Administrative Staff College of India was dismissed by the ASCI’s internal complaints committee. In its report of July 26, the committee held that it was just a confrontation during a protest. It found the allegations to be untrue and recommended that no action be taken or penalty imposed against the respondent officer B Y Reddy.
The ASCI union has alleged that the officer put his hand on the chest of the woman and pushed her and that the internal inquiry committee (ICC) didn’t do justice to the woman officer.
ASCI Employees Union president S Sreeramulu said, “It happened in front of us. Though we gave evidence, justice has not been done to her by the ICC.”
The woman officer, in her letter to the ICC president said: ‘I am dreadfully discontented with the outcome of ICC’s findings. Though he touched physically on my chest before 12 of the staff on April 19, the ICC said it was discussion on union related matter. I belong to the SC community so no justice is done to me. Earlier in two cases in 2015 and 2016 in similar cases action was taken against the then Director General based on the complaint of a professor and another professor was asked to resign. I will file a case of sexual harassment against Mr BY Reddy in the court of law.’
B Y Reddy, against whom the woman complained, told DC: “It is totally baseless and false. There are around 50 employees who report to me. Out of them one or two are going out without intimation. So I questioned them about this. Then, the union people came to my office and entered into an argument. They warned me that they would fix me in a false case. On April 19, an enquiry was initiated, and after three months probe, the ICC found that the allegations are wrong. I have worked in the army for 30 years before I retired. I have been targeted only because I do my duty sincerely and make all my subordinates work.”
The ICC in its report gives the following account of what happened: ‘The aggrieved woman was moving towards the front and was within a short distance (arm’s length) of the respondent, so he asked her why she was coming toward the front and asked her to move away. The respondent did not move towards or make any advance towa-rds the aggrieved wom-an. This shows that there was no intent on his part to threaten or intimidate her. His action cannot have a sexual intention or meaning. It is a situation of conflict between union leaders and respondent. There was no attempt made by Mr Reddy to create a hostile work environment of sexual harassment of the woman.’