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'Conduct enquiry into harassment'

New Delhi, April 20, 2013, PTI: 2:41 IST

HC seeks probe, school staffer remains under suspension

The Delhi High Court has directed a school management to initiate “departmental enquiry” against one of its staff for alleged sexual harassment on girl students.

Justice Valmiki J Mehta declined Somesh Kumar’s plea for revocation of the suspension order against him and directed the management of Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School in Paharganj to initiate departmental enquiry against him and complete the probe within six months.

“In my opinion, suspension orders are interfered by the courts only in gravest of grave circumstances or when the order is totally without any basis. In case — such as the present case — when there are grave charges of sexual harassment, no ground is made out for revocation of the suspension order of March 3, 2011 against petitioner Kumar,” the court said.

The court, however, ordered that the school will now forthwith commence departmental proceedings in accordance with the Delhi School Education Act and Rules against Kumar with respect to the alleged misconduct.

“Departmental proceedings be carried out in accordance with the provision of the DSE Act and Rules, and be completed within six months,” it said on Kumar’s plea to revoke order on suspension and pay him the allowance during the suspension period.
The counsel appearing for the school told the court that “Kumar is being paid and will be continued to be paid the suspension allowance till the enquiry proceedings are completed against him”.

Following complaints by some girl students in September, 2010, the school management had suspended Kumar in March, 2011.

Kumar in his plea has said he had written an apology letter to the school principal and also assured the management to “correct” his behaviour.

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