NHRC gives eight weeks to take ‘appropriate action’
The National Human Rights Commission has given eight-week time to the secretary, union ministry of finance; Governor, Reserve Bank of India; chairman and managing director of Punjab National Bank and its regional chairman, Chandigarh, of the bank, to take appropriate action against the guilty officials in the branch manager suicide case.
The panel has issued the order acting on a complaint seeking action in the case.
Ajay Sehgal, Punjab National Bank branch manager, had left a suicide note blaming his seniors of harassing him. City-based advocate Pankaj Chandgothia had moved the NHRC seeking directions to the PNB management to immediately suspend the officers concerned and present them before the investigating officers.
He had also sought directives to the bank management to issue a compensation of Rs 5 crore to the family of the victim, as he has died in connection with his official duties and due to the negligence of the bank authorities in failing to address his victimisation by his seniors.
In the complaint, Chandgothia had sought directives to the PNB and all other banks to form anti-harassment committees to deal with complaints of harassment.
Ajay Sehgal, PNB manager of Sector 20 branch, Panchkula, committed suicide on July 2. In his suicide note, he named two senior PNB officials - senior deputy general manger AK Gupta and field general manager JK Gupta - of harassing him and had held them responsible for forcing him to take the extreme step. He mentioned that the data which they were presenting to the higher authorities was not correct and they were misguiding the chairman-cum-managing director of the bank.
The two allegedly accused him of being a non-performer and misused their position to harass him. After a case was registered against them, the bank authorities have transferred them purportedly to protect them. The two were later suspended by the bank and inquiry is pending against them.