12 sexual harassment cases under probe: Air India tells govt

New Delhi: There are 12 cases of alleged sexual harassment before its various internal complaints committee, Air India has informed the Women and Child Development Ministry.
Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi reviewed the progress of cases of alleged sexual harassment in Air India and Air India Express in New Delhi on August 23. She met Air India CMD Pradeep Singh Kharola and officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Air India has informed the Women and Child Development Ministry that there are 12 ongoing sexual harassment cases before its internal complaints committee, a WCD official said.
In the meeting, it was also pointed out that there were a number of cases forwarded by WCD Ministry pertaining to private airlines to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the ministry said in a statement.
It was reported last week that Gandhi had summoned Kharola to seek explantation behind the delay in completing probe in a sexual harassment case based on complaint of an air hostess of the national carrier against its senior executive.
The victim had also met Gandhi, following which the ministry had sought a report from Air India in the case by June. However, WCD officials said the report would be “completed shortly” and refused to divulge details of the inquiry due to its “confidential matter”.
After reviewing the cases and the progress of work done by the Internal Complaints Committees (ICC) , Gandhi said that along with the cases of sexual harassment, some women employees tend to file complaints of administrative nature in the garb of sexual harassment.
“It is important for the ICC to very quickly dispose of these cases. This will enable the woman, if she has a genuine grievance, to explore proper administration/legal mechanisms for redressal. It will also enable the ICCs to focus on the actual cases,” she said.
Gandhi stated that the aviation sector has expanded and has become more inclusive in its workforce as well as accessible to the middle class.
“It is no longer an exclusive sector perceived to be meant for upper class people as was the case during the 70s and 80s. With such inclusive workforce as well as passengers, it is important that the male employees in the sector, especially the pilots, are extra sensitive to the perceptions about women colleagues,” she said.
The Minister requested the CMD of Air India to sensitize the male employees so that the women employees do not feel threatened or insecure in any manner. She also requested the Civil Aviation Ministry to suitably direct the private airlines along the same lines.

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