LHC stays harassment proceedings against Rescue-1122 PRO

08:11 PM | 9 Nov, 2017
LHC stays harassment proceedings against Rescue-1122 PRO
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LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Wednesday stayed proceedings on harassment charges before Federal Ombudsperson for “Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace” against the public relations officer of Punjab Rescue Emergency Service-1122.

Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza also issued notices to director general of the rescue service and the office of the ombudsperson on the petition of Jam Sajjad Hussain, the PRO.

Earlier, Chaudhry Shoaib Saleem advocate argued on behalf of the petitioner that the ombudsperson assumed its jurisdiction unlawfully regarding a complaint moved by a female colleague of the petitioner.

He pointed out that a departmental inquiry was already pending against the petitioner on the complaint of the woman while the ombudsperson also initiated an identical inquiry against the petitioner on same charges. He said the woman did not cooperate with the inquiry committee and lodged another complaint before the ombudsperson.

The lawyer said that the rescue department also assailed the jurisdiction of the ombudsperson to hear the complaint on the grounds that Punjab Emergency Service is a provincial organization and office of the Federal Ombudsman deals with the federal organizations only as per Federal Ombudsman Institutional Reforms Act 2013.

He argued that the Article 13 of the Constitution clearly stated that no person shall be prosecuted or punished for the same offence more than once.

The lawyer said that the Federal Ombudsman has also violated the Sections 6, 7 and 8 of the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010, hence it is liable to be declared as coram non judice.

He, therefore, said that initiation of two inquiries simultaneously was violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioner and prayed the court to declare the act of the ombudsperson as unlawful and unlawful. The court adjourned the case for December 7.