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A formal probe can be launched only after the Chief Secy sends the complaint to Assembly Speaker B Koliwad who has to order an inquiry.

Ktaka assembly secy faces sexual harassment charge probe sought from chief secyRepresentational image
news Sexual Harrasment Saturday, November 25, 2017 - 19:57

Karnataka Assembly Secretary (in-charge) S Murthy may soon be probed on charges of sexual harassment.

This after the Secretary of Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) Pallavi Akurathi, sought an inquiry from Chief Secretary Subhash Chandra Khuntia on Friday, taking cognisance of a complaint by Murthy’s junior.

However, a formal investigation can be launched only after the Chief Secretary forwards the complaint to Assembly Speaker B Koliwad, who has to then order an inquiry.

Pallavi Akurathi had written to the Chief Secretary after Murthy’s junior had made a formal complaint with the DPAR. Along with the complaint, sources say that a petition signed by 49 other women officers was submitted. Pallavi had also forwarded the same to Subhash Khuntia, sources said.

In her letter to the chief secretary, Pallavi has said that it is not only the complainant but at least 20 other female officers, who have been allegedly sexually harassed by Murthy.

“There has been a hostile atmosphere in the Secretariat for the past one year,” she reportedly wrote. 

The complainant said Murthy had passed “lewd comments” on her clothes and looks after calling her to his cabin on the pretext of work.

He had also allegedly asked the officer to accompany him to Belagavi for the recently concluded winter session and also to visit Goa with him for a “pleasure trip”.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka State Commission for Women will write to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on the matter after it received a complaint from 20 women working in the secretariat, Deccan Herald reported.

"I will write to the Chief Minister and the Speaker tomorrow itself and ask for their immediate intervention. I will also get a report from the Assembly secretariat and enquire into the accusations. The matter has to be set right as the women have been enduring harassment and humiliation for the last two years. Many of them have 20 to 30 years of experience, and it is important that there is a safe and conducive work environment," Commission Chairperson Nagalakshmi Bai was quoted as saying on Friday.

The complainant had also approached the Expert Committee on Safety of Women and Children after she felt that her complaint was not looked into.

“We have asked her to furnish the details so that we can probe the matter,” a media report published on November 22 quoted Chairman of the Committee Ugrappa, as saying.

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