Sexual Harassment Of Women At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013

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Sexual Harassment Of Women At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013   Jan 20, 2017

Hon’ble Bombay High Court’s Judgment Dtd.04.10.2016 - In Writ Petition No.796 Of 2015 – Vidya Akhave V/S. Union Of India & Ors.  

1.The Division Bench of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court while dealing with the above writ petition under the referred Act has made the following important observations: 
 
a) In implementing the above Act, apart from displaying the penal consequences of sexual harassments and organizing the workshops by organizing the programmes at regular intervals, it is necessary to provide the safeguards and assistance to the women in relation to the complaints of sexual harassment. There should be an inbuilt internal mechanism so that any instance of harassment faced by a woman can be conveyed in a confidential manner to a senior women superior officer and, therefore, an Internal Committee should be constituted to ensure that such instances are nipped in the bud at the inception itself. 
 
This is particularly important considering the fact that the number of working women has increased in India and they are occupying various post in different sectors and are contributing financially to the economy of the country. 
 
b) The Internal Committee should also act in a free and transparent manner in order to ensure that the complaints of sexual harassment are inquired into seriously and that too without any bias. Very often men may view sexual conduct in a vacuum without full appreciation of the social setting or the underlying threat of violence that a woman may perceive. 
 
c) Lastly but not the least, when a complaint is filed by a woman employee, it should be promptly looked into and an enquiry should be made by the Internal Committee within a reasonable period of time. 
 
d) The safety mechanism should be evolved to ensure that the women employees can express their concern to a suitable higher officer. 
 
2. The Hon’ble High Court expressed concern that although the Act was passed in 2013 yet most of the Companies, Corporations and Government Undertakings have not constituted the Internal Complaint Committee. The Court directed that such Committees should be constituted expeditiously if they have not been constituted.
 
Download the text of the judgment.   

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