A senior executive with a multinational bank, charged with sexually harassing a junior executive at work, got a reprieve on Friday when the Bombay High Court stayed “chapter proceedings” against him.
Usually chapter proceedings are initiated against repeat offenders.
Anand Giridhar, who works as vice-president (Finance) at Deutsche Bank, was arrested on February 3 for sexually harassing a junior colleague for over a month. He was released on bail.
Shripad Gunjkar, special executive magistrate (SEM) of Dindoshi division, had initiated chapter proceedings against Giridhar after the complainant alleged that he had tried to harass her even after getting released on bail.
On February 19, Gunjkar issued a notice to Giridhar asking him to furnish a bond of Rs 30,000 and two sureties of the same amount for ensuring that he does not misbehave with any other colleague for two years.
The notice apprehended Giridhar might commit similar offence within the jurisdiction of Goregaon police station, where earlier offence was registered against him.
Giridhar had challenged the proceedings before the high court.
On Friday, his lawyer Shreyansh Mithare argued that an FIR cannot become a ground for initiating chapter proceedings. He also pointed out that the proceedings lacked basic ingredients of being desperate and dangerous to the society at large.
A single judge bench of Justice V.M. Kanade asked Mithare if senior executives can’t commit heinous acts when the lawyer said Giridhar was working as a vice-president with a multinational bank.
The judge stayed the proceedings till May 5 when the police are supposed to file their affidavit in reply to Giridhar’s application.
The complainant, an unmarried 26-year-old woman, a chartered accountant at the Nirlon office (Goregaon) of the German bank, had complained on January 27 that Giridhar had allegedly caught her hand and made obscene remarks about her figure.