NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court has passed stringent strictures against a government employee while junking his plea challenging downgrading of his rank for sexually harassing two women family members of a female peon, saying "beasts in disguise" should not be in public service.
"This is not just a case of sexual harassment of a woman at workplace, but it is a clear case of misconduct or of a conduct that is unbecoming of a government servant.
"People with upright moral values and integrity should only make way into public service and not those who are beasts in disguise," a bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and I S Mehta said while also imposing a penalty of Rs 50,000 on the government servant, S K Jasra.
Jasra's rank was downgraded in 2012 from Joint Director in the Directorate of Pay, Pension and Regulations in Defence Ministry to that of Deputy Director on grounds of harrassing the daughter and daughter-in-law of a lady peon who was also a widow.
Jasra, in his plea challenging a decision of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) upholding the penalty imposed on him, had contended that he cannot be subjected to any penalty after a departmental inquiry as the alleged conduct was not done in the course of his official duty.
Observing that his behaviour was a clear case of "conduct that was unbecoming of a government servant", the bench said a public servant should "at all times, be it in a professional setup or otherwise, conduct himself in a manner that is not subversive to discipline."
It said the complainant in this case was a peon, who was also a widow. She had sought help for her daughter who was estranged from her husband, but Jasra, "on the pretext of offering a helping hand", "shattered the faith" reposed in him by his superior who had asked him to help the women.
The court observed that Jasra, who retired in 2013, also "misused the dominant position that he was holding, courtesy his being a senior officer at the place where the complainant was working".
"He misbehaved with the daughter and daughter-in-law of the complainant in a sexually inappropriate manner. This abuse of dominant position by the petitioner outrightly reveals the nexus between the improper conduct of the petitioner with his official duties," the bench said.