Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010 Approved by Government of India| Remedy for sexual harrassment at work

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THE PROHIBITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WOMEN AT WORKPLACE  BILL, 2010 is approved by cabinet on 4th of November 2010.
This  Bill conferring upon women the right to protection against sexual harassment and towards that end for the prevention and redressal of sexual harassment of women
(1) An aggrieved woman may make a complaint of sexual harassment at workplace to the Committee or
the Local Committee, or to the Commission ,as the case may be, in writing: Provided that where such complaint cannot be made in writing, the Chairperson or any member of the Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, shall render all reasonable assistance to the woman making the complaint to reduce the same in writing.
Provided further that a complainant may file a complaint to the local committee or to the Commission where the Committee has not been constituted by the employer of any work place, or where the complaint is against the employer
(2) Where the aggrieved woman is not able to make a complaint on account of her physical or mental incapacity or death or otherwise, her legal heir or such other person as may be prescribed may make a
complaint under this section.
(3) Where a complaint is made before the National or the State Commission for women , the commission may in the first instance direct the employer or the district officer to enquire into the matter and in cases where a complaint is against the employer himself and where the circumstances warrant so , the commission may itself conduct the enquiry in accordance with the procedure prescribed under the Act.
In cases where the allegation of Sexual Harassment is against the employer of the aggrieved woman, or against the person in charge of the workplace concerned, she may lodge the complaint with the national or state commission or to the local complaints Committee if she so
Provided further that every employer of the workplace shall ensure that the chairperson of the Committee be sufficiently senior to the person against whom a complaint has been made and where the defendant employed in a workplace or organization holds a senior position as head of the workplace or is the employer or is the person in charge of the workplace concerned, the appropriate Government shall appoint a ad hoc committee headed by a chairperson who shall be senior in rank and status to the defendant or provide the option to the complainant to lodge the complaint with the local complaint committee or with the national or state women commissions.
During the pendency of enquiry, on a written request made by the aggrieved woman, the Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, may recommend to the employer to-
(a) transfer the aggrieved woman or the respondent to any other workplace; or
(b) grant leave to the aggrieved woman; or
(c) grant to the aggrieved woman any other relief which may be prescribed.

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1 Comment

  1. Men’s Rights Movement opposes the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010 as introduced in Lok Sabha today. The bill is patently anti-men and does not take into consideration the views raised by Men’s Rights Activist. The proposed Act is gender biased. It only takes into consideration the grievances raised by women, and wholly ignores the men victim of sexual harassment.
    The Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said the objective was to enact a comprehensive legislation to provide safe, secure and enabling environment free from all forms of sexual harassment to every woman, irrespective of her age or employment status. But, in effect, the bill is making “workplace” a dangerous place for men to work. It is making workplace dangerous for men, as any woman can file a sexual harassment complaint against a man without any cause which will result in loss of reputation and loss of livelihood.
    The definition of the proposed offence is so wide that almost anything can be alleged as sexual harassment. It includes unwelcome sexual behavior, sexually determined behavior, conduct which interfere with work, humiliating conduct. These terms means different thing to different people. After reading the definition of sexual harassment, it is difficult to pin point if there is anything which is not sexual harassment. Further, Even men face such humiliating and discriminatory behavior at workplace. In view of this definition of sexual harassment, there is no justification of making it a gender biased Act against men.
    The proposed inquiry committee in the bill to inquire about the complaint is baised per se. It is headed by a women committed to the cause of women. It consists of women employees committed to the cause of women, representative of NGO committed to the cause of women. If so many members in the committee are committed to the cause of women, such committee cannot be impartial in the inquiry against a man. We fear that inquiry by such committee shall be prejudicial to men, prejudicial to truth and prejudicial to justice. We demand that inquiry committed must consists of people who are unbiased and objective, who can examine the complaint in an unbiased manner.
    The proposed Act gives anonymity to the complainant, but no such anonymity is being given to the man against who complained has been filed. It will result in character assassination of man, defamation of man and will result in grave prejudice to men. The provision of punishment of false accuser is worded in such manner that false accusation cannot be established in any case. Further, no provision for complained by men against false complaint or intimidation of false complaint has been provided in the bill. Further, there is no provision for compensation for falsely accused man has been made in the bill.
    Men’s Rights Movement demands that to stop menace of sexual harassment at workplace, a gender neutral bill be brought which provides for unbiased and fair inquiry. The law must punishes the wrong doer, and must also protect the innocent and compensate the innocent accused adequately.

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