SC asks PIA MD to explain employees' harassment
08 March, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was surprised to know on Thursday that female employees of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) were being sexually harassed and victimised by their high-ups in.
The court has directed the PIA managing director (MD) to submit a reply over the harassment of female employees at the hands of male employees of the national flag carrier. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was hearing a suo motu case against irregularities in the PIA as well as a constitutional petition filed by PML-N leader Marvi Memon, seeking direction of the court to probe corruption, mismanagement in PIA.
During the hearing, Captain Rifat of the national flag carrier who had filed an application in the main suo motu case of irregularities in the PIA, appeared in person before the court and contended the she has been a victim of extreme contempt by the male employees of the PIA and had been subjected to severe intimidation and harassment by them since the early years of her career.
She contended that despite her repeated complaints to the relevant authorities her grievances were not taken into account, which ultimately forced her to file an application with the National Assembly Standing Committee on Women Development. She told the court that the standing committee discovered that Captain Tariq Khoso, a flight inspector, had not only harassed her but also other female employees of the national airline at different times and was aided and facilitated by another male employee, namely Captain Kaleem Chughtai, to sexually harass her.
Rifat also said that she has also filed a petition in the Lahore High Court against PIA management, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Captain Tariq Khoso and Captain Kaleem Chughtai for her professional victimisation and harassment, and the court had directed the flight inspector to not cause any illegal harassment to her besides directing the PIA management to take appropriate steps on the report of the NA Standing Committee on Women Development.
However, she said that despite the judgement of the high court and directions of the NA standing committee, she is being victimised and harassed at the PIA, and the PIA MD has not yet taken any action against the male employees. The court directed the PIA MD to appear before the court on March 14 and submit reply in the matter.