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‘He Is Innocent’: Wife of Genpact Employee Who Killed Himself

Swaroop Raj took his own life after he was suspended over allegations of sexual harassment at Genpact. 

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Days after Genpact employee Swaroop Raj took his life after facing allegations of sexual harassment at work, his wife has accused the two complainants and senior employees of the global services firm of abetment to suicide. She has also filed an FIR with the police, accusing Genpact of abruptly suspending her husband without investigating the charges against him.

Speaking to The Quint, Kriti Srivastav Raj, also a Genpact employee, asked why the company or the two women who had accused Swaroop of sexual harassment, had not filed a police complaint. Kriti Srivastav Raj said,

“Why was no police complaint filed against Swaroop Raj? Did the complainants not have the guts? Or is it because something like that never happened to them?”

*As per POSH guidelines, filing a police complaint is not mandatory.

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Kriti believes Swaroop is innocent and that she would have known if her husband had harassed any colleague at work. Arguing that Swaroop only came to know about charges against him on the day of his demise, Kriti says the two had been married for over two years and that her husband would have told her if he had any inkling of the complaints.

“He was my husband. I’ve known him since the past three years. He was an emotional and sensitive human being. He used to share everything with me. If something had happened, if something indeed was going on, he would have told me.”
Kriti Srivastav Raj

According to Kriti, Swaroop was in a good mood on Monday and even on Tuesday, 18 December, the day he hung himself from a ceiling fan at their Noida high-rise. She feels Swaroop was not given time to respond and that no preliminary investigation was carried out before he was suspended.

“It was on Tuesday that he was called, given the letter and simply asked to leave. My question is, when did the inquiry take place? And when was he heard? I don’t think they have any proof against Swaroop,” she adds.

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Swaroop Raj had been working with Genpact for the last 11 years, a period during which there was not a single complaint against him, claims Kriti. We had reached out to Genpact with a questionnaire consisting of twelve questions seeking details of the complaints and the timeline followed by its ICC. Here are the questions The Quint sent:

1. In my conversation with Ms Kriti Raj, wife of Mr Swaroop, she alleged that:
i. Genpact didn't follow due procedure before suspending her husband abruptly.
ii. Mr Swaroop Raj was suspended without Genpact having gathered any proof against him.

What's Genpact's official response to these allegations? Under which law was he suspended as opposed being sent on leave?

2. Ms Kriti Raj holds Genpact employees responsible for abetting her husband's suicide. Does Genpact believe this to be the case?

3. When was the sexual harassment complaint against Mr Raj registered? What was the exact allegation?

4. Was there any police report filed on the basis of these complaints? If yes, what's the status of the complaint? If no, why wasn't this the case and what's the explanation offered by Genpact?

5. When was Mr Raj informed about the allegations? Was he given a chance to respond?

6. What steps were taken to investigate the allegations so made, before the letter was handed out to Mr Raj?

7. Were there any other complaints registered by Genpact employees against Mr Raj?

8. Does Genpact have an Internal Complaints Committee for dealing with sexual harassment as mandated by 1997 Vishaka guidelines?

9. Upon receiving the complaint against Mr Raj, was an ICC constituted as mandated by 1997 Vishaka guidelines?

10. Did Genpact attempt to first settle the matter?

11. What's the current status of the Internal Complaints Committee initiated by Genpact in the case of Mr Swaroop Raj?

12. At the time of Mr Raj's demise, what was his status as a Genpact employee? Please specify as him being "on leave" or "on suspension"?

Here’s Genpact’s response in full:

“This is a very difficult time for all of us and our hearts go out to the employees and their families. Genpact’s priority is to protect the dignity and privacy of everyone impacted. We would like to state that there was a serious complaint of sexual harassment made by two female employees against the deceased. The complaint was being duly investigated by the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) as per the mandated process. To have a fair and uninfluenced inquiry, he was placed under temporary suspension pending the closure of the inquiry. This is in accordance with the Prevention and Prohibition of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act (POSH) and in line with legal requirements and company policy. We implore the public and media to give the deceased and the complainants the space and dignity they deserve.” 
Genpact Statement

However, Genpact did not divulge details of the complaints made against Swaroop Raj and refused to comment on specific allegations of abetment to suicide levelled against its senior employees by Kriti. It is also not clear whether Swaroop had any previous complaints recorded against his name at Genpact.

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Kriti feels it is easy for women to level allegations against men and not approach the police. She feels the fact that an Internal Complaints Committee can be set up on the basis of one complaint and that the same committee can send the accused on leave, even before his guilt has been proven, is unjust.

“When you think about the other person who has a reputation and has given 11 years to the company, who has been loved and known by almost everyone, it’s a big shame. It would be very difficult for him to take it further. The same happened to Swaroop, he was not able to take it.”
Kriti Srivastav Raj

The only way to fix this imbalance, Kriti suggests, is to make the filing of a police complaint mandatory in cases where matters of sexual harassment are brought before an ICC. This, she believes, would encourage discussion between the two parties and thereby eliminate the possibility of misunderstandings, if any.

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