The Delhi High Court Friday sought a response from the central and Delhi governments and SriLankan Airlines on a plea by an Indian woman seeking court’s direction for implementing Vishaka guidelines (against sexual harassment) in foreign airlines.
A bench of Justice Sunita Gupta issued notice to the civil aviation and women and child development ministries, the Delhi government and the airlines on a plea by the woman seeking constitution of internal committees as per The Sexual Harassment At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013 in international airlines operating in India.
The Indian woman, employed in Srilankan Airlines and alleging sexual harassment by one of her colleagues in 2009, has sought the court’s direction for action against the airlines for non-compliance of the Vishaka Guidelines.
An application moved by woman’s advocate Ajay Verma has pleaded with the court to constitute the committee in the SriLankan Airlines as per Vishaka guidelines to enquire into the complaint of the petitioner.
The court has listed the matter for July 15.
The woman has alleged that she transferred to Kochi from New Delhi as a result of the complaint against the senior official and sought protection from transfer or termination while the petition is pending before the court.
She said in her plea that an email was received by the official of airlines that they had considered the issue of alleged sexual harassment as a closed subject and that no further correspondence on the matter would be entertained.
After the intervention of the National Commission for Women, Delhi Police lodged a case against the accused in April 2014. The woman further added that airlines officials asked her to withdraw the case and threatened her that if she would travel through the Airlines via Colombo to Delhi, a false case can be imposed on her and she will be sacked from her job.
The accused has also filed a petition for quashing of FIR. The woman has requested court to dismiss the man’s plea and sought relief in the matter.
The SriLankan Airlines has refuted the allegations of inaction in the “sexual harassment” case, saying a competent committee set up under the Vishaka guidelines has already investigated the matter before closing it in 2012.