Punjab IAS in Sexual Harassment row – Bir Devinder demands suspension, Registration of Police Case

Chandigarh, January 29, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)

Bir Devinder Singh, a Senior SAD Taksali leader and former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha today said it was shocking to note that despite reporting a sexual harassment case to none less than the Chief Secretary by a PCS officer, no tangible action appears to have been taken in the matter.

The SAD Taksali leader wondered why the Government has not suspended the offender forthwith and handed over the case to the police for appropriate action under the relevant provisions of the CrPC.

“Mere transfer of the IAS officer, in a Sexual harassment case is no deterrent but a despicable hogwash,” he said.

Bir Devinder Singh said the statement of the women PCS officer before the Chief Secretary in the presence of her colleagues is apparently a sufficient evidence to hold the IAS officer prima-facie guilty and to place him under suspension with immediate effect.

The Government should also hold an in-camera inquiry in the complaint of the woman officer as per the explicit and mandatory guidelines of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in all such cases of sexual harassment and if the officer in question is found guilty for inappropriate behavior causing sexual harassment to a woman officer, than his dismissal must be recommended to UPSC.

“The disturbing reports reaching us reveal chilling insinuation about the inappropriate conduct of the officer in question, who is allegedly known for his blemished integrity as habitual offender, wherever he worked during his posting since year 2012. Unfortunately the reports of his alleged sexual misdemeanor were suppressed and obscured by his senior officers, just because he belongs to IAS cadre.

The former deputy speaker said, “Normally women officers/ officials hesitate reporting such issues of sexual advances by their seniors to the higher authorities or to the police; as they not only fear opprobrium and disgrace in the public eye; they are also subjected to coercive bullying by the high ups for leveling allegations against IAS officers.

The complainant PCS officer must have suffered indescribable indignation by the outrageously shameful conduct of the IAS officer in question, before she mustered courage to report the matter to Chief Secretary, accompanied by her colleague PCS officers.

Bir Devinder Singh said, “We all must appreciate and express unequivocal solidarity with the audacious step taken by a dignified woman officer to bring the matter to the notice of the appropriate authority and rightly flagging the issue of sexual harassment of women at their work places,” adding that ironically the complete inaction of the State Government in this matter indicates towards covert operation to bury the matter, without giving exemplary punishment to the serial offender.

He said that the gravity and the serious nature of the complaint filed by the PCS officer warrants immediate suspension of the IAS officer followed by the registration of the police case under the relevant provision of Cr.PC or IPC .

The SAD Taksali leader said the Chief Secretary Mr. Karan Avtar Singh has no business to cling to the matter and hold on the complaint indefinitely rather than complying the direction of the Supreme Court by initiating concrete punitive measure as a sequel to such a serious complaint.

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