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HomeIndiaCustoms officer compulsorily retired for 'sexually harassing' Uzbek woman at Delhi airport

Customs officer compulsorily retired for ‘sexually harassing’ Uzbek woman at Delhi airport

The action has been taken under Fundamental Rule 56(j) of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, which provides for compulsory retirement of govt staff in public interest.

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New Delhi: The Modi government has compulsorily retired a customs superintendent following allegations that he sexually harassed an Uzbek woman at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport last year.

The action has been taken under Fundamental Rule 56(j) of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, which provides for compulsory retirement of government staff in public interest.

According to sources in the finance ministry, the officer belonged to a Group ‘B’ post of the General Commissionerate at the IGI Airport. The sexual harassment case against the officer dates back to May 2019, sources said.

On the night of 2 May 2019, two Uzbekistani passengers who arrived from Tashkent were taken outside the CCTV-monitored area and detained for an hour, the sources added. 

While one passenger was allowed to leave after an hour, they said, the second one was detained for over 30 minutes “without the presence of any lady customs officer”. Both the passengers, the sources added, were allegedly subject to sexual harassment and molestation.

One of them subsequently gave testimony to the Internal Complaints Committee, and identified the officer, accusing him of “molestation” and “indulging in obscene sexual acts in the preventive room”.

ThePrint reached finance ministry spokesperson D.S. Malik by text with queries about the case, but he was yet to respond at the time of publishing this report.

Also Read: Compulsory Retirement Order doesn’t create stigma, but judicial accountability for judges

‘Detailed inquiries held’

The sources said the matter had been under investigation by the departmental screening committee, internal complaints committee, under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, since 2019.

The committee held detailed inquiries, and finally recommended the officer’s compulsory retirement under Fundamental Rule 56(j) on the charges of “gross misconduct”, “sexual harassment of grave nature”, and causing “acute adverse impact on the image of the department and lowering the morals of the officers of the service”, the sources added.

“Taking a holistic view of the record of the officer, the review committee concluded that his conduct is such that his continuance in service would be a menace to public service and injurious to public interest,” one of the sources said.

Notwithstanding his compulsory retirement, “the departmental inquiries and criminal proceedings, if any, against the officer, will continue”, the sources added. 

“Appropriate action may be taken by the disciplinary authority as and when the charges are proved as compulsory retirement under 56(j) is not a punitive measure under Article 311 of the Constitution of India (relating to ‘dismissal, removal or reduction in rank of persons employed in civil capacities under the Union or a State’),” the aforementioned source added.

This is an updated version of the report

Also Read: Modi govt wants to retire more ‘corrupt’ officers but their colleagues refuse to name them


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