BELAGAVI: A false sexual harassment case filed by a woman assistant engineer of HESCOM at the instigation of nine of her colleagues against Executive Engineer of HESCOM T.B. Majjagi led to the suspension of all 10 of them in Belagavi.
The Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) Administrative and Human Resource Cell suspended the employees in connection with complaints of sexual harassment, mental torture and abetment to suicide filed in December 2014 by assistant engineer B V Sindhu.
She had filed complaints against Majjagi with the support of nine of her colleagues in an attempt to get the latter transferred from Belagavi region. The complaint had taken a serious turn with several women's organisations exerting pressure on government to initiate stringent action against Majjagi. In her complaint, Sindhu also alleged that a lineman Maruti Doddamani and store-keeper M T Takkalki of HESCOM supported Majjagi in perpetrating the crime against her.
A senior officer of HESCOM, Majjagi was not only suspended from service following complaints by her, but was also jailed by the police. Later, the HESCOM managing director formed a team headed by a senior woman officer to investigate into the case and a report by the team concluded that all cases filed against Majjagi were false for which 10 employees of HESCOM were responsible.
Before a local court took up the matter, Takkalki died due to the shock. While another review petition filed by Sindhu was taken up in the court, Majjagi's lawyers pleaded the court to initiate action against Sindhu for filing false complaints against her senior. When the reports of her department declared the complaints false.
Sindhu decided to withdraw her review petition in the court, while confessing to be involved in a conspiracy against Majjagi at the instigation of nine of her colleagues. She also stated that her colleagues misguided her to harass the senior officer.
While suspending 10 employees under KEB Employees Service Regulations-1987 Rule 33, KPTCL Administrative and Human Resource Cell laid down a condition that the suspended should not leave headquarters without its prior permission.
Apart from Sindhu, the other suspended employees are assistant executive engineer Ajit Pujeri, junior engineer Subhash Hallolli, accounts officer Suresh Kamble, linemen Nataji Patil, Mallasarja Shapurkar and Irappa Pattar, senior assistant B L Godalkundargi, station attender Raju Halingali and supervisor Mallikarjun Redihal.