Every unwelcome physical contact cannot be categorised as sexual harassment: High Court
The Delhi High Court said today every unwelcome physical contact cannot be categorised as sexual harassment, live law reported.
High court Justice Vibhu Bakhru while hearing an appeal challenging the clean chit given by the complaint committee and Disciplinary Authority to an employee of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research accused of sexual harassment said: "Undoubtedly, physical contact or advances would constitute sexual harassment provided such physical contact is a part of the sexually determined behavior. Such physical contact must be in the context of a behavior which is sexually oriented."
"Plainly, a mere accidental physical contact, even though unwelcome, would not amount to sexual harassment," Justice Bakhru added.
"Similarly, a physical contact which has no undertone of a sexual nature and is not occasioned by the gender of the complainant may not necessarily amount to sexual harassment,” Live Law quoted Justice Bakhru as saying.
The woman had alleged that the man had “held her hand and pushed her out of the laboratory”, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research had exonerated the respondent, Live Law said.
The High Court dismissed the women's appeal, upholding the decision of the scientific council.