Delhi

Official who complained of sexual harassment at Sahitya Akademi fired

She was on probation for two years

The employment of a 32-year-old woman working at Sahitya Akademi, who had complained of sexual harassment against the organisation’s Secretary K. Sreenivasarao, has been terminated.

On February 14, the victim, a 32-year-old official at the Akademi, was sent her termination letter, which said that she was on probation for two years starting February 15, 2018, and her performance was not found satisfactory, due to which her services could not be confirmed.

On November 7 last year, an FIR was registeredunder Section 354A (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code, in which the victim alleged that Mr. Sreenivasarao had been making sexual advances towards her since she joined the Akademi in February 2018, and when she confronted him recently, he held her hand and told her she should have understood his “hints”.

An internal enquiry was also being conducted by the Internal Complaints Committee. However, the victim feared its outcome and hence approached the Local Complaint Committee under the District Magistrate. “The ICC has members who are close to the Secretary and I did not trust they would be impartial,” she said. The LCC directed that the victim should be given three months paid leave.

The victim then approached the Delhi High Court which directed that the monthly payments to the victim shall not be stopped for three months, which will operate till March 16. However, her employment was terminated on February 14.

Mr. Sreenivasarao and administrative staff at the Akademi refused to comment on the matter.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 9:33:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/sahitya-akademi-fires-woman-after-sexual-harassment-complaint/article30854294.ece

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