Saurabh Bharadwaj vs Delhi Chief Secretary Over Alleged Hospital Sex Assault

Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar "chose not to respond" to a note asking him to constitute a committee to probe allegations of molestation of women contractual workers at a Delhi government hospital in Burari.

Saurabh Bharadwaj vs Delhi Chief Secretary Over Alleged Hospital Sex Assault

Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar "chose not to respond" to a note asking him to constitute a committee to probe allegations of molestation of women contractual workers at a Delhi government hospital in Burari.

Mr Kumar's office, however, said the action taken report has been submitted in the matter.

On Sunday, Mr Bharadwaj directed Naresh Kumar to constitute an enquiry committee to look into the allegations. The minister sought an action taken report from the chief secretary in the matter within six hours of receiving the note.

A woman, working as a housekeeping staff on a contract basis in Burari Government Hospital, has accused her manager and three supervisors of molesting and harassing her and two other employees, the police said.

Based on the woman's complaint, her manager and three supervisors of the firm providing multitasking manpower to the hospital have been charged and asked to join the probe, a police official said.

In a statement on Monday, Mr Bharadwaj said what was reported from the Burari hospital was "very shocking" and it required immediate action by the government machinery.

It is "very unfortunate" that even in the case of such highly sensitive allegations, the chief secretary "chose not to respond" to the urgent note sent to him, he said.

He further said, "One can imagine how the elected government functions... how will the safety of women be ensured when the chief secretary doesn't act on an urgent note? This is when so much hue and cry has been created by the Delhi unit of the BJP on this particular incident. Will the BJP now demand action against the chief secretary?"

The minister said a dak-rider (messenger) was sent with the urgent note issued by him to the residence of the chief secretary on Sunday.

"However, the staff at the residence of Mr Naresh Kumar did not accept the note, saying that they have instructions not to accept any note. After that, the note was sent to the chief secretary through e-mail... and the note also was physically delivered at his residence this morning," Mr Bharadwaj said.

After the recent amendment of the GNCTD Act by the Centre, there is no control of the elected Delhi government on bureaucrats, he rued.

"The officers are only accountable to the LG. Whenever any untoward incident happens, the questions are asked from the elected government. However, all the control over the officers lies with the Lt Governor," he said.

The chief secretary's office rubbished Mr Bharadwaj's allegations.

Mr Kumar submitted the action taken report on the allegations levelled by the women workers of the hospital to Mr Bharadwaj, it said.

The report contains a pointwise response on every issue raised in the note dated December 24, it said.

The report also "expressed surprise" over the ruling AAP's official handle on X posting Saurabh Bharadwaj's note with the six-hour deadline. The note was sent to the chief secretary on email and was physically delivered to him at 10:10 am on Christmas, Naresh Kumar's office said.