Thma U Rangli-Juki/TUR is shocked at the allegations reported in the media about the ‘inappropriate’ behaviour by the Governor of Meghalaya Shri V Shanmuganathan towards women job applicants. The Governor is quoted as saying:
At a time when sexual harassment at the workplace is a frightening reality we cannot just brush aside allegations of inappropriate behaviour as being gestures of friendliness and /or expressions of innocent affection. In fact as per the Sexual Harassment Act 2013, sexual harassment is defined as any”
…physical contact and advances; or a demand or request for sexual favours; or making sexually coloured remarks; or showing pornography; or any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature
The Sexual Harassment Act therefore also covers concepts of ‘quid pro harassment’ and ‘hostile work environment’. The law is clear and not subject to whether a person feels there has or has not been an act of sexual harassment. We therefore urge citizens who may have been subjected to any form of sexual harassment or been witness to such harassment to speak out as this is a grave violation of their human and fundamental rights. There is nothing to be afraid of as India is a republic which bestows supreme power on its citizens and no high office has been given the right to trample on the constitution. In fact higher the office higher is the expected behaviour of the incumbent who should not in any way be degrading the office. TUR calls for an independent inquiry into this matter and will be moving the Presidents Office in this regard.
As reported, this particular case also raises serious questions about the office of the Raj Bhavan and the procedures and processes regarding job vacancies, selection of candidates and manner of appointments. TUR also demands transparency and accountability and an independent audit of these appointments in Raj Bhavan.