Delhi high court sets aside LCC’s order on sexual harassment complaint
The Delhi high court has set aside an order of a Local Complaints Committee (LCC) which had rejected an employee’s sexual harassment at work place as it had exceeded the time limit of filing the complaint.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V Kameswar Rao directed the Local Complaints Committee (LCC) to give a hearing to both the parties and pass a reasoned and speaking order after the woman’s counsel gave some communications in a sealed cover to the court.
“…there was no issue with regard to the maintainability of the complaint before the LCC on the ground of no-employer-employee exit. We say nothing more,” the bench said.
“In the fitness of things, we feel that given the nature of issue raised by the appellant, it shall be appropriate to relegate the parties to the LCC by giving opportunity to her to file the communications…,” the court added.
The court’s order came while disposing off a plea filed by a woman who had challenged an order of a single-judge which had upheld the order passed the LCC. The LCC had rejected the complaint filed by the woman on June 13, 2018 reasoning that it was filed after the expiry of three months of the incident which took place on July 12, 2017 and September respectively.
It is pertinent to mention that under Section 9 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, a complaint has to be filed within three months of the incident.
According to the plea filed through advocate Warisha Farasat, the LCC had not gone into the merits of the case. She contended that even though the complaint was filed on March 19, 2018 after the expiry of the stipulated period, some of the communications were not given with the complaint.
However, the counsel for LCC stated that time limit to file the complaint had exceeded and could not be considered.
Following arguments from both the sides, the court noted that the LCC had dismissed the complaint due to the time factor and not without getting into the merits of the case.
The court, however, refused to express anything on the merits of the issue and referred the matter back to LCC.
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