In a notable order, the Delhi High Court has directed a private company to pay Rs 1.2 lakhs to a woman, whose services were allegedly terminated because she had raised sexual harassment allegations.
Justice Prathiba M Singh passed the interim order in a writ petition filed by the woman seeking action against the employer-company for not forming Internal Complaints Committee as per the 2013 POSH Act and Vishakha guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court.
She also challenged her termination from services as "malicious, void, bad in law, and violative of fundamental rights" and sought compensation of Rs One Crores from the company for the "grievous injury and irreparable damage done to her physically and psychologically".
The Delhi Commission of Women had issued notices to the company and the alleged harasser on the woman's complaint. Since they did not file their reports in response to the notices of DCW, she was constrained to approach the HC.
On February 10, after hearing the arguments of Advocate Adeeba Mujahid and Abhishek Kaushik for the petitioner, Justice Prathiba M Singh ordered :
"Without prejudice to the contention of the Respondents No.4 and 5 and considering that the Petitioner's case is that he has been terminated after she raised the allegation of sexual harassment, it is directed that a lump sum amount of Rs 1,20,000/- shall be paid to the Petitioner, which shall be subject to the further orders of this Court"
The Court has clarified that the payment is without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the parties.