Disclaimer: The following are real life case studies of the POSH law in India. These are meant for educational purposes only and are not meant to be circulated.The recommended measures in the case studies are purely prescriptive and based on the unique circumstances. They are not meant to substitute any form of legal advice.
DEMAND OR REQUEST FOR SEXUAL FAVORS
Daniel is Rupa’s team leader and the floor manager. Rupa has been performing consistently in her team by taking initiative and showcasing leadership skills.
Where: Corridor by the printing room
When: Office hours
Daniel hints at a sexual favour in exchange for Rupa's promotion.
Daniel: Rupa, I'll be choosing the new team lead this week.
Rupa: Yes, I’m glad to be one of the candidates.
Daniel: Let's discuss the role at my apartment tonight. I think we can help each other out.
What evidence was accepted?
Testimonial evidence from Rupa
An anonymous witness who experienced a similar advance from Daniel
Who were the witnesses?
X has approached the committee on the condition that her identity will remain anonymous from Daniel.
X: I experienced the same thing with Daniel, but I don't want to file a complaint.
What did the IC find?
The IC finds Rupa’s testimony to be credible. Further, they are able to establish a pattern of behaviour through Witness P’s statement. After cross-examination through no contact between Daniel and Witness X. The committee also noted several inconsistencies in Daniel’s version of the incident, from the first hearing to the third. Whereas some inconsistencies are acceptable and even expected, there were several in Daniel’s instance. Further, during the third hearing, Daniel became belligerent and said that it was just an offer, and he does not see why he was in the wrong. He said that if Rupa had refused, he would not have forced her to do anything. However, as he was in a position of authority, given the element of coercion involved, the committee does not believe it is acceptable to extend such offers. Furthermore, the implied request for sexual favors in exchange for professional benefits is clearly a case of quid pro quo. Therefore, sexual harassment is established.
What did the IC recommend?
Interim Measures: Immediate termination of the reporting relationship between Daniel and Rupa.
a. As there was an abuse of power involved in this incident, Daniel will be demoted and transferred to another branch.
b. Daniel will be suspended for a period of one month.
How long did it take?
Three months as there were multiple hearings since the case primarily relied on testimonial evidence.