The Court in New Delhi India awarded the maximum sentence and imposed Indian Rs 50,000 penalty on Sri Lanka’s national carrier Srilankan Airlines for non-compliance of Indian law.
The Airline’s counsel argued before court for leniency as it is Sri Lanka’s national carrier and as it may affect the relations between two countries.
The complainant’s Lawyer Ajay Verma sought maximum penalty in this case as the airline deliberately avoided its responsibility to have implemented an Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) as per Indian Law.
In this case a victim had sought the prosecution of the airline for non compliance of Section 4 of the ‘The Sexual Harassment of Women At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition And Redressal) Act, 2013 hereinafter called “POSH Act”, which is a punishable offence under Section 26 of the Act “POSH Act” with a fine amounting to a maximum of Rs 50,000 Indian rupes.
After taking into account the conduct of the airline the Judge imposed a maximum penalty.
This is the first such conviction that a court in India has made against any employer, be it local or foreign for violating this law.
In another case which ran concurrently with this, the SriLankan Airline’s Regional Manager Lalith De Silva has already been convicted by the same court on the 16th of September 2020, for sexually harassing and insulting the modesty of one of its Indian national female staff during the time he was posted in India.
Whilst the former SriLankan Airlines employee, filed the case against the national carrier for its failure to have an International Complaint Committee (ICC) under Indian law and sought prosecution, the case against Lalith De Silva the former Regional Manager was filed by the State of India. (By Janaka Ranaweera)