Sexual harassment of women colleagues at workplaces in government departments of Uttar Pradesh will now invite stringent punitive actions including withholding of increments for a specified period and bad entry in service book.
In a bid to check such incidents of sexual harassments at workplace, the state government has amended the UP Government Servant (Discipline and Appeal) Rules and issued a government order in this regard last week, a senior official of UP Personnel Department said.
If a government employee is found guilty of sexual harassment it would lead to censure, withholding of increments for a specified period, bad entry in service book and stoppage at an efficiency bar, with new government order being issued in this regard, the official told PTI.
"The government has also done away with the provision of multiple inquiries into such complaints to ensure speedy justice to victim," he added.
In UP till now in case, if a complaint was pertaining to sexual harassment or exploitation of a woman employee at workplace, a preliminary inquiry was conducted.
If the charges were found true then it was followed by a detailed inquiry based upon which action to be taken was decided.
"As process was cumbersome in many cases the inquiry proceedings continued to linger on for years," he said.
Now as per the fresh provision in case of sexual harassment or any such complaint, the appointing officer would constitute a committee, with at least one female member.
The committee would inform the accused male staff about charges levelled against him and seek an explanation within a specified time.
After hearing the complainant and the accused, the committee would submit its inquiry report with the appointing authority.
If the committee in its report confirm the charges then the appointing authority will be authorised to impose minor penalty punishment against the guilty male employee.
For this a separate committee would not be required.
"In case a complaint of sexual exploitation or sexual harassment against a government servant is reported to the in-charge of a workplace along with the appointing authority and if the appointing authority constitutes a complaints committee (in which the inclusion of at least one female member will be essential) for the purpose of inquiry," said a notification issued by principal secretary (personnel) Rajiv Kumar.
"The report or findings of such committee shall be deemed to be an inquiry report and the appointing authority may impose minor penalty upon the delinquent government servant on the basis of such report and there shall be no need to institute a separate inquiry," it added.
This punishment could range from withholding increment of the guilty male employee to bad entry in the service book.
In addition, eligibility tenure for the salary hike could also be increased.
According to the notification, minor penalties include censure, withholding of increments for a specified period, stoppage at an efficiency bar.
Minor penalties have also been specified for other misconducts, which include recovery from pay of the whole or part of any pecuniary loss caused to government by negligence or breach of orders.