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    President asks FOSPAH to give the opportunity of being heard to GM PEMRA in harassment case

    President asks FOSPAH to give the opportunity of being heard to GM PEMRA in harassment case

    Chitral Times Report

    ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has remanded the case of the accused General Manager (GM) of PEMRA, who was awarded punishment ex-parte in a case of sexual harassment preferred by a female employee of PEMRA, to the Federal Ombudsman for Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace (FOSPAH) to give him an opportunity being heard. The President gave these directions while deciding on a representation filed by the GM of PEMRA against the orders of FOSPAH, wherein he was found guilty of being an abettor to DG, PEMRA who was found guilty of sexually harassing a female colleague and was awarded the major penalty of “dismissal from service” and a fine of Rs 2.5 million by the President. The President said that since FOSPAH decided the case ex-parte while the accused GM was on ex-Pakistan leave due to fear of threats to his life, therefore, he should be given a proper opportunity of being heard in line with the principles of natural justice.

    The President held that since the accused GM and his lawyer had assured his availability through video conference for recording the testimony and cross-examination, therefore, the case was remanded to FOSPAH for a de-novo hearing. He advised that the decision should be finalized within 60 days. The President rejected the stance of the accused GM that he was not impleaded as a party in the original complaint preferred by the complainant and was only accused at a later stage.

    He observed that in our social and cultural setting, where prevailing notions of family honour and taboos play a dominant role, it was not easy for a woman to speak up about such deeply disturbing incidents. “There is also the apprehension of counter-allegations hurled against her character by the delinquent. For these and other reasons, many cases of sexual harassment remain unreported. Victims of sexual harassment who exhibit the courage to report the matter against all odds should not, therefore, be turned away on the ground of delay in lodging the complaint”, he added.


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