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Customs issues charge sheets to officials

Customs issues charge sheets to officials
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The customs department has issued charge sheets to its two officers who were suspended following allegations of sexual assault on an Uzbek woman at the Delhi international airport in May this year, according to a top official.

New Delhi : The customs department has issued charge sheets to its two officers who were suspended following allegations of sexual assault on an Uzbek woman at the Delhi international airport in May this year, according to a top official.

The move follows the submission of an investigation report by the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) that found "prima facie evidence indicating that the alleged sexual harassment indeed occurred" and accordingly recommended the issuance of charge sheets against the two superintendents of customs department.

"Charge sheets have been issued to both of them. We are waiting for their response," said Manish Kumar, Commissioner of Customs (Delhi airport). He refused to give more information. A charge sheet is issued to a government servant as part of disciplinary proceedings detailing allegations against him or her.

Based on their reply, the inquiring authority/inquiry officer (usually a senior official) decides whether or not the charges stand proved, officials explained. If found guilty, the quantum of punishment can range from withholding of increments to termination of service among others, depending on the seriousness of the charges.

This punishment is imposed by the disciplinary authority (usually the head of the office/department) on the basis of the inquiry findings. In light of the seriousness of alleged sexual assault by a public servant in this case, the inquiry is likely to be conducted by the ICC instead of an inquiry officer as per a law on checking sexual harassment at work places, the officials said.

The Act requires the inquiry to be completed within 90 days. The ICC is headed by a woman and must have half its members as women, including one independent member who is not an employee of the concerned office, they said.

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