Two women doctors accuse Gurugram’s top medical officer of sexual harassment
The Haryana State Commission for Woman (HSCW) is investigating a complaint of sexual harassment against Gurugram chief medical officer (CMO) Dr BK Rajora. The complaint was filed before the commission in September last year by the two senior women doctors who are posted in Gurugram and report to him. The panel has since received three more complaints of sexual misconduct by the CMO, but is yet to start probing them.
“Under sub section (f) of section 10 (1) of the HSCW Act 2012, the commission conducted the first hearing at the office of the commissioner of police in Gurugram on September 21, 2018, and thereafter, a series of complaints were received by the commission against the alleged accused,” stated the HSCW report , a copy of which is with the HT.
When asked about the allegations, Dr Rajora said, “The complaints against me are false and fabricated and I have replied to the commission.”
The women’s panel’s report concluded that the CMO had been harassing the two doctors for several months. “During hearings, it was observed that both the women doctors have been apparently suffering due to harassment being caused by the accused civil surgeon on one pretext or the other for the past many months. Certain acts committed by the civil surgeon are not only against one, but against many female employees in the district,” the report said.
The HSCW had sent the report to the state health secretary on October 5, recommending that the CMO be removed as the complainants’ reporting authority till the proceedings are pending with the commission. A reminder in this regard was sent to the health secretary on January 9.
The commission’s recommendations include cancellation of the recent deputation of the two doctors, who filed the first complaint, and that the accused civil surgeon should not be their reporting manager till the pendency of the proceedings and till the health department shares its reports, of any inquiry conducted earlier, with the commission.
“We have sent two reminders to the health secretary to implement the commission’s recommendations. Since the two women doctors are working under the CMO in question, he should not be the reporting authority until the inquiry into the complaints is pending,” Preeti Bhardwaj, vice-chairperson of the commission, who heard the complaints, said.
“The commission has received a series of complaints against Dr Rajora, apart from the two senior women doctors, who, on the basis of prima facie evidence presented during the three hearings, were found victimised. That amounts to sexual harassments at workplace. Since the commission has received two-three more complaints against the CMO that we have not yet heard and inquiry is still pending, we have made preliminary recommendations,” she added.
Rajiv Arora, additional chief secretary, health, Haryana government, said, “We have received the commission’s recommendations and are working on it.”
As per the HSCW Act, the commission can investigate, suo moto, such incidents or based on complaint into discrimination against and victimisation of women, and recommend remedial action to the government. The commission can also demand prosecution in offences committed against women and assist the prosecution with evidence and legal services.