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Court orders Registrar of Societies to be enjoined in Arya Samaj Sexual Harassment Suit

GBR Team 13/05/2021

Justice Monica Mbaru yesterday turned down an application by the Registrar of Societies to be removed from a sexual harassment suit filed against a Nairobi-based Hindu religious society,  Arya Samaj.

The suit filed by a Ms Heena Bachheta, accuses the societies Chairman and Vice-Chairman, Yash Pal Bansal and Yash Pal Monga, of sexual harassment and intimidation at work and failure to act on her complaints of the same in contravention of the Employment Act.

She now wants the two removed from office.

The Registrar of Societies who is listed as an interested party, had sought to be struck off the suit saying it was not involved in the dispute.

But counsel for the plaintiff, Ken Kyallo of Gumbo and  Associates, opposed the request saying as the body mandated to register societies such as Arya Samaj, the Registrar would be expected to act on the orders that the court will issue.

Kyallo asked the court to order Bansal and Monga to keep away from the offices of the society until the case was determined.

He added that the two are likely to interfere with evidence and potential witnesses in the lawsuit.

In affidavits filed by Bansal and Monga, the two deny the allegations.

They have been sued jointly with the Arya Samaj Nairobi organization, and its umbrella body, Arya Pratinidhi where the two also serve as officials.

The suit has rocked the 100-year old organization forcing its council to hire private investigators to look into the matter after Bansal allegedly failed to act on Ms Bachheta’s complaint.

Documents filed in court show that the investigators delivered blistering indictment on the Chairman’s inaction but were inconclusive about the sexual harassment claims.

The matter continues in court.