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Sexual harassment at CDA: Female rescue staffer takes assistant director to court

Sexual harassment at CDA: Female rescue staffer takes assistant director to court

By: Obaid Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday sought a detailed report from the Capital Development Authority (CDA) regarding the harassment case of its Rescue1122 employees.

The application was filed by medical field staff of the emergency service department while seeking action against Security Assistant Director (AD) Muhammad Ramzan for allegedly harassing female employees in the department.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui directed CDA Administration Member Chaudhry Munir to submit a copy of the report of the CDA inquiry committee —which was set up by the agency’s chairman — by the second week of September.

The female employees have alleged that Ramzan began harassing a female employee when she made a leave request.

The application submitted by the victim’s female colleagues says the incident took place on July 6. After this, the CDA Security Directorate constituted a probe committee which found Ramzan guilty. He was then transferred to hte Directorate of Municipal Administration. However, after 20 days, he was reinstated to his previous post by the current Administration member.

Sources told The Express Tribune that Ramzan, who was a grade 8 employee during Imtiaz Inayat Elahi’s chairmanship, was promoted to grade 17 by former CDA Chairman Farkhand Iqbal, who saw him as a favourite.

During the course of the hearing, Munir tried to assure the court that the CDA chairman had constituted a committee which will probe into the matter. He said that after its findings come out, strict action will be taken against accused if guilty. He also requested the court not to pass any orders till the findings of the inquiry report are available, a request that the court turned down.

Earlier, the female employees also informed the court that there was no separate room for them in the department and they are compelled to sit with the same male employees that harass them. “We are on duties for many hours including nights and there is no separate room for us. We must even share the washroom with men,” they complained.

Justice Siddiqui directed Munir to facilitate the female staff with a separate workspace and adjourned the matter till the second week of September.

Express Tribune

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