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Protection against Sexual Harassment in India


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Protection against Sexual Harassment in India

  1. 1. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Prepared by: Manila Sarkaria, Advocate
  2. 2. Protection Against Sexual Harassment – Indian Laws The Constitution of India The Indian Penal Code, 1860 Vishakha & others v State of Rajasthan (1997) The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and its Rules
  3. 3. Relevant provisions Articles 14, 15, 19 and 21 Of The Constitution Of India Section 354 A Of The Indian Penal Code : Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment Guidelines stipulated by the Supreme Court of India in Vishaka & Others vs. State of Rajasthan (1997)
  4. 4. A welcomed step - The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and its Rules No woman shall be subjected to sexual harassment at any workplace Physical contact & advances Unwelcome physical, ver bal or nonverbal conduct of sexual nature Sexual Harassment (Unwelcome acts or behavior) Includes Showing pornography A demand or request for sexual favors Sexually colored remarks
  5. 5. Circumstances Considered as Sexual Harassment promise of preferential treatment in employment threat of detrimental treatment in employment threat about present or future employment status interference with work or creating intimidating /hostile environment humiliating treatment, li kely to affect health or safety
  6. 6. Prevention + Protection + Redressal Providing Safe Working Environment At The Workplace Sensitizing employees and conducting orientation programmes Constitution of the Internal Complaints Committee and providing necessary facilities for conducting inquiries Assisting the aggrieved woman
  7. 7. Complaints Committee  Local Complaints Committee: Grievance redressal body for organisations having no Internal Complaints Committee because of having less than ten employees or where the complaint is against the employer  Internal Complaints Committee: Grievance redressal body for establishments employing ten or more employees  Internal Complaints Committee to be appointed by an order in writing  At least half of the membership of the Internal Complaints Committee to be women  Internal Complaints Committee to prepare and submit an annual report to the employer and the District Officer
  8. 8. Internal Complaints Committee - Composition Presiding Officer – Senior woman employee from the workplace/other admin units/office/organisations. Internal Complaints Committee Two members - employees – preferably, committed to the cause of women/experience in social work/legal knowledge One member from an NGO/other women’s organisation/familiar with issues relating to sexual harassment.
  9. 9. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE BEING HARASSED Communicate that the behaviour is unwelcomed and must to be stopped Keep a record of incidents (date, time, locations, possibl e witnesses, what happened, your response etc.) Discuss or seek counselling Lodge a complaint with the appropriate complaints committee May choose to lodge a complaint under the criminal law or any other law for the time being in force
  10. 10. Complaint Mechanism (Conciliation) Incident of Sexual Harassment 3 months Complaint made to the ICC/LCC Aggrieved Woman requests for a settlement Beyond 3 months Settlement: Reasons for delay to be recorded in writing If Aggrieved Woman does not request for settlement • Not monetary No settlement Inquiry into complaint • ICC to record settlement and forward to Employer /District Officer & Parties • No further inquiry
  11. 11. Complaint Mechanism (Inquiry) 3 months Complaint made to the ICC/LCC Beyond 3 months Reasons for delay to be recorded in writing Inquiry, Conclusio ns & Recommendations Allegation Proved Misconduct Allegation Not Proved – No action by Employer Allegation was malicious/false – action against woman/other person Inability to substantiate the complaint/inadequate proof doesn’t not amount to malice APPEAL Incident of Sexual Harassment
  12. 12. Violations & Penalties Failure to constitute Internal Complaints Committee Failure to take action w.r.t. Inquiry Report, Punishment for false or malicious complaints & evidence and Annual report Contravention of other provisions of the Act or Rules Fine upto INR 50,000/-; subsequent violations: • Twice the punishment of the penalty first imposed • Cancellation of business license
  13. 13. Thank You Disclaimer – This presentation is the work of the author and shall not be reproduced, redistributed, passed on or published, in whole or in part, except by or on the express instructions of the author. The information provided in this presentation is based on the interpretation of laws by the author and does not constitute a legal opinion or advice.