President Dr Arif Alvi, while upholding the decision of the Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace, on Saturday awarded a major penalty of "Dismissal from Service" to a PEMRA director general and also enhanced the fine from Rs200,000 to Rs2.5 million.
President Alvi held that it has been established beyond any reasonable doubt that the female employee was harassed by the accused with verbal, vulgar, sexual, and demeaning comments and demands by the appellant (director general).
He observed that he took a strong exception and used the full force of the law when such matters were brought to light and were proven beyond doubt to ensure a safe working environment for the female gender. He said this was aimed at unleashing their great economic potential which remained unexploited due to their fear of harassment at the workplace.
Harassment of women has to be curbed to ensure full participation in our society. It is difficult for them to bring cases before forums because of fear & further isolation. Public spaces have to be expanded for equal work status. I appeal 2 all to ensure respect in deeds & action https://t.co/XyWbWWQbi0
The President ordered that the amount of compensation shall be recovered from arrears of pay (if any), pension emoluments or any other source (property) of the appellant as per Section 4(i)(d) of the Protection Against the Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010 and be given to the complainant as compensation in lieu of the hardships faced by her at the hands of the appellant.
This landmark decision was announced after the President gave personal prolonged hearings to the accused, the complainant and their counsels, besides factoring in the evidence and recording the statements of the witnesses on record and minutely perusing the entire proceedings of the case.