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In Digital Era, Employees Working In Different States To Be Treated As 'One Work Place' For Purposes Of Sexual Harassment At Workplace: Rajasthan High Court

Team SoOLEGAL 15 Jan 2021 3:10pm

In Digital Era, Employees Working In Different States To Be Treated As 'One Work Place' For Purposes Of Sexual Harassment At Workplace: Rajasthan High Court

On 11th January, 2021, Rajasthan High Court while hearing a plea for quashing of a charge sheet was of the view that, in this digital era if a victim is being posted in a different State from the accused, that doesn’t mean, that the accused cannot be prosecuted for the offences he/she had committed. Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma was hearing a plea which was filed by a Chief Manager of Bank of Baroda asking for quashing the charge sheet which was filed against him by the Disciplinary Authority of the Bank for sexually harassing his subordinate employee.

According to the petitioner, the authority did not have the jurisdiction to pass this order because, currently the petitioner is being posted in a different State whereas the complainant who has lodged the complaint of sexual harassment is being posted in another State.

 The petitioner had also contended that, according to the Bank of Baroda Officer Employees' (Discipline and Appeal) Regulations, 1976, the prosecution could only be initiated if the petitioner conducts some sexual assault at the workplace. As the petitioner is being posted in a different State from the complainant, the charge sheet could not have been given to the petitioner and no investigation could have been carried out.

The petitioner had also contended that, the obscene messages which he had sent to the complainant were after the working hours hence, no charge sheet or inquiry must be conducted for this.

The Court had held that, in this current digital world, employees working in different branches or States must be considered as one workplace. The Court had also stated that, if an individual is being posted to Jaipur and behaves on a digital forum harassing another lady who may be posted to another State, it will fall under the ambit of being harassed at a common workplace.  Regarding the second contention of the petitioner, the Court had held that, though the messages were sent after the working hours still it would fall under the meaning of misconduct under Regulations of 1976.



Tagged: One Work Place   Sexual Harassment   Workplace   Rajasthan High Court   Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma   digital era   Chief Manager   Bank of Baroda   Disciplinary Authority   sexual assault  
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