Air India Chief summoned for delay in probe into sexual harassment cases by WCD
The Union Women and Child Development Ministry, being unsatisfied with the way Air India has handled sexual harassment complaints, has called the Chairman and Managing Director, Pradeep Singh Kharola to explain the reason for the delay. The meeting has been set up for 23rd August. These sexual harassment complaints have been lodged by some women staff against a senior executive. Apart from Kharola, the ministry has also called the head of the ICC (i.e. Internal Complaints Committee which is constituted by Air India to inquire into the sexual harassment complaints). The POSH Act i.e. Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, has been enacted to provide redressal to women who are being subject to sexual harassment at their workplaces. This Act makes it mandatory for every employer of the workplace (having more than 10 employees) to set up an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). This ICC has to be headed by a senior woman employee. An inquiry by ICC is required to be completed within 90 days of the receipt of the complaint, as per law. After an inquiry is has been concluded, action has to be taken within 60 days. Two air hostesses have complained in writing to Maneka Gandhi- Union WCD Minister, alleging that ICC has delayed in the investigation of the matter. Maneka Gandhi wrote to the civil aviation ministry in June, after the letter of one of the air hostesses stating that a complaint under the POSH Act has not been disposed of since August of 2017. Gandhi in her letter also stated that the head of ICC of Air India was unable to explain the reasons for the delay in disposing of the complaint.