Nov 13, 2013

Female RJs of AIR Sexually Harassed: Centre to Delhi HC

The Centre on Wednesday told the Delhi high court that there have been instances of sexual harassment against women radio presenters working with FM Gold channel of All India Radio (AIR) and appropriate action has been taken against the erring people. AIR in its affidavit, filed before a bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Manmohan, denied the allegations against it that Vishaka guidelines have not been implemented by it and said it is "alive to its responsibility of ensuring that no act of sexual harassment at work place takes place".

The submissions were contained in the reports, filed before the court, of two committees formed by the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry and AIR to look into the allegation that some women presenters of AIR were sexually harassed and exploited by their senior officials. The reports were filed in the court and a copy was given to the petitioner who was given time till December 11 to file a response after going through the findings of the committees.

The committees formed by the ministry as well as AIR had given their findings after going through the statements made by the individual complainant as well as other women radio jockeys of FM Gold as well as submissions of the senior officials who had been accused of sexually harassing them. The ministry's committee in its report of April 2013 has observed that "casual presenters at FM Gold and FM Rainbow seem to be in a vulnerable position because of the casual nature of their engagement" and recommended that AIR replace system of grading by duty officers and put in place a comprehensive Performance Appraisal System.

The panel also recommended installation of closed circuit TV monitors at key places as well as surprise checks on staff present on duty to act as deterrents against sexual harassment of women. The court was hearing a PIL filed by social worker Meera Mishra through advocate Sugriva Dubey against the alleged sexual harassment and exploitation of women radio presenters of AIR.