New Delhi [India], January 31 (ANI): The Delhi High Court recently quashed an FIR registered against two employees of a multinational company for allegedly sexually harassing a woman colleague at the workplace.
The high court noted that the petitioners were given a clean chit by the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) set up for inquiry of the complaint.
The bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain recently quashed an FIR under sections 354 A, 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) registered at police station Vasant Kunj (North).
The accused were employed with an automobile company and working in their Legal team.
The Complainant, who was working as an intern/trainee with the legal team, had alleged that both the Petitioners had sexually harassed her during her training.
The Complainant had written an email to the company whereby an ICC was constituted.
Also, an FIR was registered by the Complainant and multiple anonymous complaints were sent to National Commission for Women (NCW) and Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).
The High Court while allowing the Petition and quashing the FIR has placed reliance upon the previous judgements of the Supreme court.
The court had held that once the accused Persons are exonerated by the ICC under POSH then the Criminal proceedings arising from the same facts cannot continue and shall amount to an abuse of the Criminal Justice System.
The issues in the proceedings conducted by the Internal Complaints Committee and in present criminal prosecution are identical and in the conduction of enquiry/investigation by the Internal Complaints Committee, the provisions of the Act were duly complied with and have not been contravened, the court noted in the judgement passed on January 25.
"In these circumstances, there is a force in the arguments advanced by the learned Senior Counsel/counsel of the petitioners that the criminal proceedings/prosecution arising out of FIR cannot be continued particularly when the petitioners were exonerated by the Internal Complaints Committee's Final Report dated 19.08.2019," the court further noted.
" The proceedings arising in pursuance of FIR cannot be sustained in the law. If the investigation/prosecution in pursuance of FIR bearing no. 594/2018 is allowed to be continued then it shall be an abuse of process of law, " the court said.
The high court has held also that the instant proceedings in the light of facts and circumstance the basic ingredients of section 354 A and 506 of IPC are not made out qua the accused Persons thereby quashing the FIR and all consequential proceedings arising thereof.
The petitioner moved a plea seeking the quashing of the FIR registered at police station Vasant Kunj (North) in 2018. One of the petitioners was represented by advocate Sumer Singh Boparai.
Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa argued that criminal prosecution could not be continued on the same allegations after the independent Statutory Committee has exonerated the petitioner.
He also argued that the complainant did not cooperate with the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) despite several reminders and follow-ups and the sole purpose of the complainant was to harass the petitioner in connivance with others employees/ex-employees of the company. No prima facie case is made out against the petitioner. (ANI)