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Single instance of sexual harassment at workplace can be considered ‘continuing offence’, not barred by limitation: Madras High Court

The Court was hearing a petition filed by one R Mohanakrishnan, a superintendent in the district police office, in the Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu, challenging an enquiry report of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) in the rape complaint filed against him by one of his female colleagues.

The petitioner argued that the alleged incident of rape had taken place in April 2018.

But the woman lodged a formal complaint with the local police much later and that was then forwarded by the police to their employer only in December 2022.

Therefore, the ICC enquiry had commenced more than four years after the alleged incident, it was pointed out.

As per the PoSH Act, a complainant can file a written complaint either with the internal or local complaints committee within three to six months of the sexual harassment incident.

Therefore, the ICC proceedings and the enquiry report must stand vitiated by the statute of limitation, the petitioner argued.

The State government opposed the plea.

Source: Barandbench

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