A senior official with Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) reportedly sought sexual favours from an employee.

State Human Rights Commission orders probe into harassment of CMDA woman employee
news Harassment Friday, July 05, 2019 - 10:38

The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has ordered a probe into the alleged harassment of a Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) employee. Taking suo motu cognisance of a news report, the SHRC has ordered the Principal Secretary, Housing Department and Authority Member-Secretary to inquire into the matter and submit a report within four weeks. 

According to The New Indian Express report on June 28, the CMDA ordered an inquiry into the issue after a WhatsApp conversation between the employee and the senior planner came to light. Parts of the conversation, leaked on social media, are allegedly from the phone of the employee where she is refusing efforts from one "Sp Sir cmda" to seek sexual favours. 

The conversation reportedly shows the the senior planner continuing to persist in his advances despite the woman employee saying she is engaged. In veiled threats, the senior official is also reportedly seen telling the woman that she has a long career ahead of her. "Enjoyments will be in secret with special gift chances available dear.... you are missing that chance means you will become wasting your lifetime best wishes of chances coming soon on the way dear,” (sic) the conversation reportedly shows the planner saying.

Soon after the incident, however, the woman employee is said to have resigned from her job. Shockingly, the newspaper reports that this is not the first time a woman employee has resigned on account of advances from the senior planner. Another woman employee who faced similar sexual harassment from the same official, also reportedly resigned.

While a complaint was reportedly registered against the official by the woman, SHRC in its notice sought information on whether an internal complaints committee had been set up in the office as per the Vishakha Guidelines to report sexual harassment of women at workplace.

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