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Sexual harassment is a human rights violation: CIC

Atul Patankar

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Atul Patankar

As reported at www.hindu.com on 07 April 2009



New Delhi (PTI): Sexual harassment amounts to human rights violation and no organisation, including RAW, should be exempted from the purview of RTI Act in such cases, the CIC has said.


While hearing the plea of a women RAW officer, the Central Information Commission held, "... this entire application centres on allegations of sexual harassment which is a material basis for allegations of human rights violation. We have also on earlier occasion also held that overt gender discrimination amounts to violation of human rights."


Although the commission dismissed the plea of Nisha Priya Bhatia, a RAW officer who had demanded information under RTI Act on her complaint regarding allegations of sexual exploitation by seniors on technical grounds, it advised her to move a fresh application seeking information which was denied by the agency.

"It will be open to Nisha Bhatia to move a fresh application before the RAW seeking information on the matters which she has now sought at the level of second appeal. Her right to so move an application notwithstanding the listing of RAW in the second schedule is upheld in light of proviso to sec 24 (1)..." Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah held.


Source: The Hindu News Update Service

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As reported by PTI in dnaindia.com on 18 January 2010:

SC dismisses woman RAW officer's sexual harassment complaint - dnaindia.com


SC dismisses woman RAW officer's sexual harassment complaint


New Delhi: The Supreme Court has dismissed the petition filed by a senior woman officer of the country's external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing who had alleged sexual harassment by her superior officers.


"We have gone through the petition as also the documents filed and find that the allegations made by the petitioner (Nisha Priya Bhatia) have been inquired into by several independent bodies including a committee headed byRenuka Viswanathan and supervised by the cabinet secretary and that no merit has been found in the allegations levelled by her.


"The record further shows that the allegations made by the petitioner have at one time or the other been examined by the National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Women and they too had not granted her any relief," the apex court said in a judgement.


The bench of justices HS Bedi and JM Panchal said it did not pass the judgement in the presence of Nisha as she was "surcharged" and "emotionally disturbed".


The Central Information Commission (CIC) has pulled up RAW for not providing Nisha the report of a "complaint committee" to one of its officials after it probed her sexual harassment allegations against her bosses.

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Please also read the attached decision o the CIC related to the same matter but in this case to the SSB.


Wonder why the IC did not bring in the "Human Rights" angle to the whole issue, specially since SSB is exempt under Sec 24.


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