In digital era, employees working in different states to be treated as 'one work place' for purposes of sexual harassment at workplace

Sanjeev Mishra Vs Bank of Baroda and Ors

Rajasthan HC

11/01/2021

S.B. Civil Writ Petition No.150/2021

About/from the judgment:

"... 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 workplace."

Sending inappropriate messages to a subordinate co-worker beyond office hours would constitute sexual harassment in the workplace, the High Court held.

The Court passed the ruling while rejecting a challenge to the harassment charges on the ground that the complainant and the accused were in different States.

In this case, a senior official of the Bank of Baroda was accused of harassing a woman posted in a different State through messages sent beyond working hours.

Since the Bank of Baroda Officer Employees' (Discipline and Appeal) Regulations, 1976 stated that inquiry could only be initiated if sexual harassment occurred in the workplace, the accused disputed the charges on the ground that no such act had occured in a common workplace. The Court rejected this contention, observing:

"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."

Additionally, it was submitted that the allegedly obscene messages were sent after working hours. The Court rejected this contention as well, observing that the accused held a senior-level position. As such, his work timings were not confined to being between 10.30 am and 4.30 pm.

The Court added that the accused-petitioner fully knew that the complainant was in employment with the Bank and holding a subordinate post. Therefore, sending her such messages after working hours would amount to causing harassment.

Thus, the petitioner's conduct, in the Court's view, prima facie fell within the meaning of misconduct under the Bank of Baroda Officer Employees' (Discipline and Appeal) Regulations, 1976.

Finding the case of the petitioner to be without any basis, the writ petition was accordingly dismissed.

Read the Judgment

Knowledge and content of about almost all their respective descriptions are borrowed from law-related blogs and websites, we, therefore, wish to give proper credit to all the respective law-related blogs and websites like LiveLaw, Bar and Bench, LatestLaws, PathLegal, FirstLaw, Lawctopus, IndianKanoon, Manupatra, LegallyIndia etc.. Many of the judgments are also taken from them websites of Hon'ble Supreme Court and other respective Hon'ble High Courts!

Formats for use

Talk to our volunteer on our #Helpline

8882-498-498

Single Helpline Number For Men In Distress In India

Join our mailing list!  Stay up-to-date on upcoming projects, offers & events.

  • Follow Daaman on Facebook
  • Follow Daaman on Twitter

©2018-2020 Daaman Welfare Society & Trust.

All rights reserved.

Beware, anyone can be a victim of gender bias in society and laws! 

Don't wait: Schedule a conversation with a trusted, experienced Men's Rights Activist to find out how only awareness is the key to fight and remove prevailing gender bias against men in society.