Union Minister Maneka Gandhi today directed the head of the Internal Complaints Committee of Air India to complete within June the inquiry into a complaint of sexual harassment lodged by an air hostess of the national carrier against its senior executive.
Union Minister Maneka Gandhi today directed the head of the Internal Complaints Committee of Air India to complete within June the inquiry into a complaint of sexual harassment lodged by an air hostess of the national carrier against its senior executive. The move comes after the air hostess met the Union Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister here today. According to a WCD ministry official, Maneka Gandhi has also taken up the matter with Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu. “The minister has also spoken to the head of the Internal Complaints Committee of Air India and has directed her to complete the inquiry within June,” an official statement said.
In a letter addressed to Prabhu and also marked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the air hostess had asked for appointing a “neutral” investigation committee to look into the incident. Responding to the letter, the civil aviation minister had tweeted, “Asked Air India CMD to immediately address the issue. If necessary, will appoint another committee.”
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The air hostess has alleged that she had been harassed for the last six years by the senior executive, describing him as a “predator” and equal, if not worse, than Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood film maker charged with sexual misconduct by leading actresses. “This senior executive is a predator and has sexually propositioned me, abused me, used abusive languages on other women in my presence, spoken of sexual acts with me and other women in my presence in office premises…
“He has insulted me and denied me positions and privileges after I rejected his advances and he had made my life a misery at work and continues to do so,” she said in her letter dated May 25. The woman said that she would reveal the name of the executive if she gets an audience with the aviation minister.
The air hostess maintained that she had lodged a complaint with Air India last September and written to then CMD of the airline, but “none was forthcoming”. She also accused the airline’s women cell of dragging its feet on the issue.