Prasar Bharati has informed the National Commission of Women that it has demoted and transferred an All India Radio official who was accused of sexual harassment by nine employees.
The women’s commission issued a statement on Friday saying it had received an action-taken report from Prasar Bharati. “The disciplinary authority accepted the recommendations and the authority imposed a major penalty of reduction to a lower pay scale by two stages for one year and no increment during the reduction period,” the commission said in the statement, according to NDTV.
“After the expiration of one year, the reduction period will have effects on subsequent increments. The accused was also transferred as an administrative measure,” the statement said.
AIRCACU’s letter pointed out how women casual workers who complain of sexual harassment are removed from the job, citing the instance of Shahdol AIR station where nine women were sacked after they lodged a formal complaint against the station’s then assistant director Ratnakar Bharti. AIRCACU’s letter said, Bharti himself was only transferred to AIR headquarters in Delhi even as the Internal Complaint’s Committee (ICC) inquiry found him guilty. The Prasar Bharati report also admitted that the charges were found to be true following which the officer was been transferred “as an administrative measure” and, as per the ICC recommended disciplinary action, his salary will be reduced to a lower pay scale.
It states Prasar Bharati has also taken “preventive measures” such as “posting of women Programme Executives as station in-Charge, installation of CCTV cameras at vantage points, and providing transport facility to women employees during odd hours”.
The action-taken report said that charges against the official, who was an assistant director of programming at Shahdol station in Madhya Pradesh, were proved during an inquiry conducted by the Internal Complaints Committee, reported The Times of India.
The National Commission of Women had last month asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to look into the sexual harassment complaints. The commission’s chairperson Rekha Sharma had written to Prasar Bharti Chief Executive Officer Shashi S Vempati seeking an investigation and to submit the action-taken report within 15 days.
The commission was acting on a complaint by the All India Radio Casual Announcer and Comperes Union, which said that casual announcers and comperes working in several stations across the country have been sexually harassed.
According to the commission, the Prasar Bharati Secretariat has asked its centres to send quarterly progress reports regarding sexual harassment complaints being investigated by internal committees.