Nisha Priya Bhatia Vs Ajit Seth and Ors, On 6th May 2016, Supreme Court of India: Case Brief – Read Judgement

In the matters of Sexual Harassment, Complainant is held to be entitled to the reports of the enquiring committee on the allegations

Civil Appeal No. 4913 of 2016
Bench: Justice Madan B. Lokur; Justice N. V. Ramana

Case Brief: In the present case, the judgement and order which was passed by the High Court in the Contempt Case is challenged in the appeal. In the said judgement, the high court had held that the respondents had not committed any violation of the order which was passed in Civil Writ Petition. In the facts of the case, the appellant here had complained sexual harassment by her seniors- Sunil Uke and Ashok Chaturvedi. Two separate committees had enquired the allegations of the accused persons, and they submitted their reports, for Sunil Uke, report of 2008 and for Ashok Chaturvedi, report of 2009 were submitted. Controversy in this case is arose while the pendency of the proceedings in the High court and this court related to the entitlement of the appellant to a copy of Report of 2009. It was observed that the High Court did not pass any substantive order on issue of furnishing of the report to appellant. However, the Ashok Chaturvedi died in the year 2014. Union of India filed both the reports before this bench in the sealed cover. Later on the issue of the furnishing of the said report of 2009, the Union of India filed affidavit and claimed privilege under sections 123 and 124 of the Evidence Act. Moreover, all such was made to claim that such reports should not be disclosed for the national security.

The bench gone through the reports and found that there was nothing to be held as threat to the integrity of Nation. Moreover, the bench found it odd that how an enquiry in the allegations of the Sexual Harassment, can require the Union Of India to claim privilege under sections 123 and 124 of the Evidence Act. As such, the bench found that the Appellant is entitled to the reports in respect of the allegations made by her of sexual harassment. Also, bench found that the Respondents have not committed any contempt of court. Thus, the bench disposed of the said appeal.

Read the Judgement: Nisha Priya Bhatia Vs. Ajit Seth and Ors

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