The Bombay High Court (Aurangabad Bench) in the case of Pradip Raghunath Daud v. State of Maharashtra comprising of a division bench of Justice Ravindra V Ghuge and Justice B U Debadwar has refused to accept a compromise between the parties in a case registered against a man accused of assaulting the complainant. The complainant, an assistant teacher, submitted in her compromise affidavit that “there was some confusion and misunderstanding between her and the applicant.”

Courts Observation & Judgment

However, the division bench felt uneasy with the submission made by the complainant.

The bench said: “When the advocate representing the informant (woman) was addressing us, we could see his discomfort.”

They gathered from her affidavit that “the informant may have been compelled to file an affidavit and tender a compromise undertaking since she states in the affidavit that “she assures that in future she will not file a criminal complaint against the applicant”. This speaks volumes about the pressure possibly exerted on her, either by the applicant or the educational institution.”

The bench further said: “In fact, we would have appreciated if the educational institution had taken recourse to the Vishaka Committee recommendations and the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013… so as to initiate disciplinary action against him.”

Finally, the court expressed its concern, “The involvement of women employees has to be encouraged in order to bring them in the mainstream along with their male counterparts and [so they can] become a source of earning for the family. This object would be defeated if women employees, who have complained against male employees, are coerced to withdraw their complaints so as to ‘sweep the dirt below the carpet’. We find it unconscionable to accept such compromise as it would surely not be in the interest of justice and would be counter-productive.”

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