CHENNAI: A solitary allegation of intemperate language being used against a female employee does not constitute as sexual harassment under the law, the Madras High Court has ruled while passing orders on a batch of write petitions filed by V Natarajan and others. Natarajan, the deputy registrar of the Trade Mark and GI in Chennai, is alleged to have used intemperate language against his subordinate, assistant registrar Rema Srinivasan Iyengar in 2013. He was charged with having sexually abused her.
While hearing the case, the bench, comprising justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha, observed that the constitution of an Internal Committee for inquiry into sexual harassment allegation itself was not warranted in this case. Having formed a committee, the complainant did not attend the hearings, the bench said. “The metamorphosis of the original complaint into one of sexual harassment exposes the real intentions of the complainant,” it said.
The complaint was well aware of the Internal Committee and ought to have faced it had her complaint been true. Instead, she approached the State Commission for Women and painted a different picture.
Thus, the Internal Committee’s decision to not take cognizance of the Local Committee order was reasonable, said the bench while allowing Natarajan’s petitions.