Sexual harassment by UP govt employees to invite tough actions

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Sexual harassment to invite tough action
Lucknow, Aug 13: Sexual harassment of women colleagues at workplaces in government departments of Uttar Pradesh will now invite stringent punitive actions including withholding of increments for a specified period and bad entry in service book.

In a bid to check such incidents of sexual harassments at workplace, the state government has amended the UP Government Servant (Discipline and Appeal) Rules and issued a government order in this regard last week, a senior official of UP Personnel Department said.

If a government employee is found guilty of sexual harassment it would lead to censure, withholding of increments for a specified period, bad entry in service book and stoppage at an efficiency bar, with new government order being issued in this regard, the official told PTI.

"The government has also done away with the provision of multiple inquiries into such complaints to ensure speedy justice to victim", he added.

In UP till now in case, if a complaint was pertaining to sexual harassment or exploitation of a woman employee at workplace, a preliminary inquiry was conducted. If the charges were found true then it was followed by a detailed inquiry based upon which action to be taken was decided. "As process was cumbersome in many cases the inquiry proceedings continued to linger on for years", he said.

Now as per the fresh provision in case of sexual harassment or any such complaint, the appointing officer would constitute a committee, with at least one female member. The committee would inform the accused male staff about charges levelled against him and seek an explanation within a specified time.

After hearing the complainant and the accused, the committee would submit its inquiry report with the appointing authority. If the committee in its report confirm the charges then the appointing authority will be authorised to impose minor penalty punishment against the guilty male employee.

For this a separate committee would not be required. "In case a complaint of sexual exploitation or sexual harassment against a government servant is reported to the in-charge of a workplace along with the appointing authority and if the appointing authority constitutes a complaints committee (in which the inclusion of at least one female member will be essential) for the purpose of inquiry," said a notification issued by principal secretary (personnel) Rajiv Kumar.

PTI

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