The Bombay High Court has imposed a fine of nearly Rs 50,000 fine on the company while dismissing a sexual harassment complaint case against Vodafone Essar Ltd (now Vodafone) and its former executives.
The court added that the penalty is to be paid to War Widows’ Association for not having an ‘internal complaints committee’ as per Vishaka guidelines in place at the correct time.
The court said that the penalty is to be paid to the War Widows’ Association for not having an internal complaints committee as per Vishaka guidelines in place at the relevant time.
While passing the decision, a division bench of Justice MS Karnik and Amjad Sayyed said,
“THOUGH WE ARE NOT INCLINED TO DIRECT PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO THE EX EMPLOYEE BY THE RESPONDENT NUMBER 1 (VODAFONE-EASSA LTD. AND WE DO NOTE THAT THE FIRM HAD NOT FOLLOWED THE GUIDELINES SET UP BY THE SC IN VIASHAKHA AS THERE WAS NOT COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE CONSTITUTED AT THE RELEVANT TIME”.
This case was registered by an employee who was fired from the service in August 2000. She had claimed that she was terminated from her job just because of her refusal to sex by her Chief Operating Officer.
She had further stated that her senior and another executive employee helped the COO to pressurize her.
Moreover, directing the amount to be deposited within nearly six weeks, from October 13, the court added:
“EVEN ASSUMING THAT THERE WAS NO COMPLAINT OF THE PETITIONER ON RECORD OF THE AGENCY, DURING THE TIME OF HER RECRUITMENT, WE FIND THAT NOTHING STOPPED THE FIRM FROM QUESTIONING INTO HER INJUSTICE EVEN AFTER HER TERMINATION. HOWEVER, THERE WAS NO COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE IN THE PLACE TO QUESTION INTO THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINT MADE BY THE PETITIONER.”