Case Law Details

Case Name : Sanjeev Mishra Vs Disciplinary Authority & General Manager (Rajasthan High Court)
Appeal Number : S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 150/2021
Date of Judgement/Order : 11/01/2021
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (6472) Rajasthan High Court (160)

Sanjeev Mishra Vs Disciplinary Authority (Rajasthan High Court)

In the present digital world, work place for employees working in the Bank and who have earlier worked in the same Branch and later on shifted to different branches which may be situated in different States has to be treated completely as one work place on a digital platform. Thus, if a person may be posted in Jaipur and acts on a digital platform harassing another lady who may be posted in a different State, it would come within the ambit of being harassed in a common work place. The contention of the counsel for the petitioner, thus on the aforesaid count is rejected.

The second submission of the counsel for the petitioner is that obscene and overt messages alleged to have been sent after the working hours are concerned, suffice it to note that the petitioner was holding the post of Chief Manager and the work timings for officers of senior level cannot be taken into consideration as between 10.30 AM to 4.30 PM alone. That apart knowing fully well that the concerned lady is in employment with the Bank and holding the subordinate post. If messages are sent after working hours, then it would amount to causing harassment and prima facie would come within the meaning of misconduct under the Regulations of 1976.

FULL TEXT OF THE HIGH COURT ORDER /JUDGEMENT

The petitioner by way of this writ petition has prayed for quashing and setting aside the charge sheet dated 4.1.2020 and notice dated 31.12.2020.

Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the Disciplinary Authority & General Manager, Bank of Baroda has wrongly issued the charge sheet to the petitioner as it does not lie within its jurisdiction. The petitioner is working in a different State while the complainant who has lodged a complaint for sexual harassment is in another State. Learned counsel submits that in this regard, notice was also given to the respondent.

Learned counsel submits that in terms of Bank of Baroda Officer Employees’ (Discipline and Appeal) Regulations, 1976 (hereinafter referred to as “Regulations of 1976”), inquiry could have been initiated only when the petitioner commits any sexual harassment at the work place. Since the petitioner is different from that of the complainant, charge sheet could not have been issued to the petitioner and no inquiry could be conducted. However, learned counsel submits that the allegation in the charge sheet relating to sending of messages is after working hours and therefore, also charge sheet is misconceived and inquiry could not have been conducted.

I have given my thoughtful consideration to the submissions.

In the present digital world, work place for employees working in the Bank and who have earlier worked in the same Branch and later on shifted to different branches which may be situated in different States has to be treated completely as one work place on a digital platform. Thus, if a person may be posted in Jaipur and acts on a digital platform harassing another lady who may be posted in a different State, it would come within the ambit of being harassed in a common work place. The contention of the counsel for the petitioner, thus on the aforesaid count is rejected.

The second submission of the counsel for the petitioner is that obscene and overt messages alleged to have been sent after the working hours are concerned, suffice it to note that the petitioner was holding the post of Chief Manager and the work timings for officers of senior level cannot be taken into consideration as between 10.30 AM to 4.30 PM alone. That apart knowing fully well that the concerned lady is in employment with the Bank and holding the subordinate post. If messages are sent after working hours, then it would amount to causing harassment and prima facie would come within the meaning of misconduct under the Regulations of 1976.

Thus, the contention of the counsel for the petitioner is found to be without any basis and the writ petition is accordingly dismissed.

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