Wednesday, October 14, 2009

School to pay Rs 8.5L to four in abuse case: HC

School to pay Rs 8.5L to four in abuse case

TNN 13 October 2009, 04:43am IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the Delhi Public School Society (DPSS) to pay Rs 8.50 lakh as compensation to its four former women employees for removing them from their jobs and failing to take action against a school principal who sought sexual favours from them.

Justice S Ravindra Bhat declined to grant any relief to U S Verma, the then principal of DPS Faridabad, who had challenged findings by National Commission for Women for "strong action'' against him following complaints made by the four victims.

The court asked the school society to pay Rs 2.5 lakh each to three teachers and Rs 1 lakh to a non-teaching staff, even as it faulted the society for its failure to take any action against the principal and give relief to the four women.

On June 29, 1999, the NCW had, in its inquiry report, asked the DPSS to act against Verma, finding substance in the charges of sexual harassment filed by the four women. Instead of acting upon NCW's recommendations, DPSS set up a one-member committee a day later on June 30, 1999, to look into the allegations.

The victims had alleged Verma sought sexual favours for regularization of their services. When they declined to humour him they were removed from their jobs in 1998, the complainants alleged.

During their probation between 1996 to 1998, Verma used to send memos to them accusing them of dereliction of duties, they had alleged in the petition.

HC concluded that the society had erred in constituting its own committee to probe the complaints as it was against the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in the Vishakha judgement. HC also held the society liable for making the women wait endlessly for justice and therefore, asked them to cough up compensation.

Courtesy_

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