The Delhi high court has sought response from MTNL on a woman employee's charge that she was subjected to sexual harassment by her male colleagues who, she claimed, watched pornographic websites in her presence.
The court also asked the counsel for the state-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd to apprise it, after taking instructions, as to whether the male employees concerned can be transferred or not.
"This is strange... instead of transferring the employees against whom allegations have been made, you (MTNL) have transferred the complainant woman," Justice Rajiv Shakdher said and asked MTNL to file its reply by May 7.
The woman, who got a job on compassionate ground as an assistant with MTNL at a North Delhi office after the death of her husband, alleged four of her male colleagues were harassing her.
"The respondents (male colleagues) used to open pornographic websites in the office computer installed in the room of respondent No 3 during office hours and used to call the petitioner (woman) into the room while viewing the pornographic websites," the plea, filed through lawyer Suman Kapoor, said.
The colleagues of the victim "extended threats and abuses" to her after she objected to their acts, it said.
MTNL, which initially did not take any action, later constituted a panel to look into the allegations, it said.
"The committee, without following the proper procedures and non application of mind, decided only to advise respondents No 3 to 6 'to be careful while dealing with women staff', without redressing any of her complaints," the petition said.
MTNL, instead of transferring male employees, "transferred the petitioner to her disadvantage and putting her in hardship", it said.