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    SEEMA LEPCHA vs STATE OF SIKKIM & ORS

    Date : 03/02/2012

    The petitioner, a peon at the Central Bank and a widow aged 37, sexually harassed by, then Chief Manager of Gangtok branch, who used to ask her unwelcoming questions and on 1st March 2008, brushed against her and touched her chest. An F.I.R was lodged with the police. After the police filed a closure report in the case. As per the Vishaka Guidelines of Sexual Harassment at Workplace there needs to be an independent committee at the workplace which was not there. The Investigation Officer (IO) in the case also filed a closure report.

    A writ was filed in the High Court of Sikkim regarding the constitution of the complaint committee. Where the court directed respondents to constitute complaint committee and have sensitization training for members and wider publication of guidelines and also to frame proper policy to combat sexual harassment at workplace. And also ordered the State Government to be prepared to take all necessary steps to bring a proper legislation in compliance with the Supreme Court’s guidelines on sexual harrasment at workplace.

    Also the Sikkim High Court ordered on 29.09.2010 that allegations made by the petitioner against the respondent were ill designed and the respondent had every right in law to work out his legitimate right as his reputation is at stake. Court did not go into the merits of allegations made against Respondents.

    This order of High Court of Sikkim was challenged in the Supreme Court of India, where the State of Sikkim was directed to instruct the concerned officer to file a comprehensive list of all public and private establishments operating within the State and the needful be done within a period of four weeks. The Chief Secretry, State of Sikkim was ask to file an affidavit and give details of the steps taken by the State Government for implementation of the guidelines framed by this Court in Vishakha and Medha Kotwal Lele.

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