Ombudsperson Kashmala Tariq orders dismissal of Pemra DG from service in sexual harassment case


ISLAMABAD – Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplaces Kashmala Tariq has ordered the dismissal of a director general of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) for sexually harassing a female employee.

The ombudsperson issued the ruling on a complaint filed by the female official in January 2020 against then DG HR Haji Adam for harassing her. Tariq also directed him to pay Rs2 million in compensation to the woman.

She had accused Adam of adopting “rude, disgusting and demeaning” behaviour towards her when she refused “sexual favours” to the officer.

“Bringing all the pieces of evidence together […] the complainant has proved her allegation that [Adam] sexually harassed her [at] her workplace on November 11, 2019,” Kashmala Tariq said in her order.

The convict, the order said, failed to prove his stance that the complainant tried to implicate him in the false case “at the instigation and conspiracy of someone else”, it added.

The ombudsperson said the action was to be taken against Adam under the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, 2010.

Kashmala Tariq also imposed a penalty on another Pemra official named Fakhruddin Mughal for facilitating Adam. She issued orders for the demotion of Mughal.

She further said in her order, “I deem it essential to ask the Pemra top management to constitute [a] permanent harassment committee to look into, probe and decide […] harassment cases, and also install CCTV cameras [at] conspicuous places to monitor the activities of staff at the workplace.”

“Similarly, I would also like the management to display [the] code of conduct and guideline[s] of FOSPAH (Federal Ombudsperson Secretariat for Protection against Harassment) [in] common areas,” it added.

The Pemra management has been given seven days to comply with the orders issued by the ombudsperson, who had earlier suspended Adam in the case in February 2020.

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