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The sexual harassment of women at work place (prevention, prohibition and redressal) act, 2013 is a provision in Indian Constitution for prevention of sexual harassment of women at work place.
Purpose of This Act
To provide protection to women against sexual harassment at workplace and for the prevention, prohibitation and redressal of complaints of sexual harassment and for the matters connected therewith of that place.
Constitution of India
Sexual Harassment at work place results in violation of the fundamental rights of a woman to equality under Article 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India and her right to life and live with self-respect under Article 21 of the Constitution and right to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business which includes a right to a safe environment free from sexual harassment. Because of violation of this rights indian constitution made this act.
Background of the Act
As per procedure, this act was first passed in lok sabha on September 3, 2012. It was passed by rajya sabha on february 26, 2013. It got approval of president on April 23, 2013. And finally act came into force on december 9, 2013.This statute superseded the Vishakha Guidelines for prevention of sexual harassment introduced by the Supreme Court of India.
Sexual Harassment Defined
Includes any one or more of the following undesirable acts or behavior:
- Physical Contact.
- A mandate for sexual favors.
- Making sexually colored notes.
- Show pornography.
- Any objectionable physical, spoken or non-spoken behavior of sexual nature.
Complaint of Sexual Harassment
Any aggrieved woman may make, in writing, a complaint of sexual harassment at workplace to the Internal Committee, if so constituted, or the Local Committee, in case it is not so constituted, within a period of 90 days from the date of incident and in case of a series of incidents, within a period of 90 days from the date of Last incident.
If such complaint cannot be made in writing, the Presiding Officer or any member of the ICC or the President or the LCC shall render all reasonable assistance to the woman for making the complaint.
Where the aggrieved woman in unable to make a complaint on account of her physical or mental capacity or death or otherwise, her legal heir or such person as may be prescribed may make a complaint under this section.
Penalty for Non-compliance with Provisions of Act
Where the employer fails to:
- a. Constitute an Internal Committee under sub-section (1) of section 4
- b. Take action under sections 13, 14 and 22 and
- c. Contravenes or attempts to contravene or abets contravention of other provisions of this Act or any rules made there under, he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees.
If any employer, after having been previously convicted of an offence punishable under this Act subsequently commits and is convicted of the same offence, he shall be liable to:
- Double the punishment, which might have been forced on a first conviction, subject to the punishment being maximum provided for the same offence: Provided that in case a higher punishment is prescribed under any other law for the time being in force, for the offence for which the accused is being prosecuted, the court shall take due cognizance of the same while awarding the punishment;
- Cancellation, of his license or withdrawal, or non-renewal, or approval, or cancellation of the registration, as the case may be, by the Government or local authority required for carrying on his business or activity.
Every employer is required to establish an Internal Complaints Committee at every office or branch with at least 10 workers. The District Officer is required to establish a Local Complaints Committee at each area.
- The Complaints Committees have the forces of common courts for social event proof.
- The Complaints Committees are required to accommodate pacification before starting a request, whenever mentioned by the complainant.
- The request process under the Act ought to be classified and the Act sets out a punishment of Rs 5000 on the individual who has broken classification.
- The Act expects employers to lead training and sensitization programs and create arrangements against coarse behavior, among different commitments.
- Government can arrange an officer to investigate work environment and records identified with inappropriate behavior in any association.
Under the Act, which likewise covers understudies in schools and universities just as patients in medical clinics, employers and neighborhood specialists should set up complaint advisory groups to explore all grumblings.
- The sexual harassment of women at workplace (prevention, prohibition and redressal) act, 2013.