Saturday, January 30, 2021

SriLankan Airlines Fined By Delhi Court For Violating Indian Law

New Delhi: Patiala House Court has imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 against SriLankan Airlines for violating Indian law by not having an Internal Complaint Committee to address the matters of sexual harassment at the workplace.

Metropolitan Magistrate Dev Saroha said: "Considering the circumstances in which the company has shown utter disregard to the law of the land, it would be appropriate to impose a fine of Rs 50,000. In view of the observations, I sentence the company should pay a fine of Rs 50,000 to be paid to the complainant."

Earlier, the court had convicted SriLankan Airlines for the offence under Section 26 of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) 2013 for violating Indian law by not having an Internal Complaint Committee to address the matters of sexual harassment at the workplace.

Earlier, the Court had convicted ex-Regional Manager (India), SriLankan Airlines under section 509 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for outraging the modesty of one of his junior colleagues at its Delhi division office while he was posted here.

Metropolitan Magistrate, while passing judgment in the matter relating to foreign airlines said, "I am of the considered opinion that the accused (SriLankan Airlines) has violated Section 4 (1) of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 and is liable to be convicted under section 26 of the same."

The court had also observed that on the date of filing of the complaint, the airlines did not have the internal committee as per the said Act, neither had it any permanent committee in terms of Vishaka guidelines which were a set of procedural guidelines for use in India in cases of sexual harassment.

Court also noted that in the present case, the complainant has stated that immediately after the incident she made a complaint to a number of her seniors and waited for the action to be taken against the accused, who is a senior employee of the company.

She was thoroughly cross-examined by the defence. She has further stated that only after realising that no action will be taken against the accused she made a formal complaint. The complainant has been consistent in her explanation regarding the delay and she being a woman in a social setting like ours is often subjected to many pressure in matters like these, the Court further noted.

In the present case, not only the social dignity of the complainant was on line but also there must be some professional considerations, the accused being a senior officer of the company and her boss. Thus, the explanation given by the complainant is believable, Court said.

Advocate Ajay Verma representing the complainant/victim submitted that SriLankan Airlines was also not supportive to her and rather they tried to coverup. The victim instead of getting support from the airline was removed from service.

30/01/21 ANI/Business World

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