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POSH: Prevention Of Sexual Harassment At Workplaces

Yes she is fragile but not like a flower but like a bomb. Handle with care.
[Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013]

The POSH act is a law enacted by the Government of India to address the sexual harassment issues faced by the women at their workplaces. The purpose fo this Act is to prohibit the act of sexual harassment against women employee though the rule, mandates as laid down in it and to prevent anyone from performing any such act of sexual harassment towards any other women employee and also to provide remedies to the victim. This act aims at creating a safe and favourable work environment for women and protects them from sexual harassment at workplaces.

Sexual harassment against a women at her workplace is a gross violation of the fundamental rights of a woman to equality under articles 14 of the Constitution of India and also the right to life and to live with dignity under article 21 of the Constitution extended to her 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 under article 15 and 16 of the Constitution of India.

Protection of sexual harassment and right to work with dignity are universally recognised human rights. This Act of 2013 is a stepping stone towards the foundation of giving effect to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which was ratified by the Government of India on the 25th June, 1993 and also an extension of the Vishakha Guidelines issues by hon'ble Supreme Court in 1997.

In this article I have tried to put-down the provisions of the POSH Act in a way that can be grasped by anyone running short of time to take a break and halt and is also easily understandable for a layman.

Related Provisions under Constitution of India:

  • Article 14: Equality Before law
    The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India
  • Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  • Article 16: Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment
    1. There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State.
    2. No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State.
  • Article 21 : Protection of life and personal liberty:
    No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.

This means that a properly legislated law by the Parliament or the concerned competent authority/body is valid and licit only if it follows the correct and proper procedure. Adherence to this principle means that a person may be deprived of his/her life or any particular liberty but only according to the established procedure of law.

Provisions of POSH Act, 2013

The act comprises 30 sections grouped under VII chapters.
  • Chapter I: this chapter covering the first 3 sections majorly speaks about the definitions that are used in the whole Act and the rationale behind this enactment.
    Important definitions to know:
    Section 2. Definitions: In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:
    1. aggrieved woman" means:
      1. in relation to a workplace, a woman, of any age whether employed or not, who alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment by the respondent;
      2. in relation to dwelling place or house, a woman of any age who is employed in such a dwelling place or house;
    (e) "domestic worker" means a woman who is employed to do the household work in any household for remuneration whether in cash or kind, either directly or through any agency on a temporary, permanent, part time or full time basis, but does not include any member of the family of the employer;

    (f) "employee" means a person employed at a workplace for any work on regular, temporary, ad hoc or daily wage basis, either directly or through an agent, including a contractor, with or, without the knowledge of the principal employer, whether for remuneration or not, or working on a voluntary basis or otherwise, whether the terms of employment are express or implied and includes a co-worker, a contract worker, probationer, trainee, apprentice or called by any other such name;

    (g) "employer" means:
    1. in relation to any department, organisation, undertaking, establishment, enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit of the appropriate Government or a local authority, the head of that department, organisation, undertaking, establishment, enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit or such other officer as the appropriate Government or the local authority, as the case may be, may by an order specify in this behalf;
    2. in any workplace not covered under sub-clause (i), any person responsible for the management, supervision and control of the workplace.
      Explanation: For the purposes of this sub-clause "management" includes the person or board or committee responsible for formulation and administration of policies for such organisation;
    3. in relation to workplace covered under sub-clauses (i) and (ii), the person discharging contractual obligations with respect to his or her employees;
    4. in relation to a dwelling place or house, a person or a household who employs or benefits from the employment of domestic worker, irrespective of the number, time period or type of such worker employed, or the nature of the employment or activities performed by the domestic worker;
Important takeaways of this chapter are:
  1. An aggrieved woman in this Act is an employee who has faced any act of sexual harassment at her workplace
  2. Employment to be understood is a "work or service"
  3. rendered for remuneration or not
Where the remuneration is in cash or kind, that is under either directly to the principal employer or for his representative that includes agent, contractors, in direct office premises or the extended places like client location, other site, any other place where official gatherings are happening where the terms of employment are clear or not, implied or expressed of regular, temporary, ad hoc nature or daily wage basis

Prevention of sexual harassment.
  1. No woman shall be subjected to sexual harassment at any workplace.
  2. The following circumstances, among other circumstances, if it occurs, or is present in relation to or connected with any act or behavor of sexual harassment may amount to sexual harassment:
    1. implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her employment; or
    2. implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in her employment ; or
    3. implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status; or
    4. interference with her work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment for her; or
    5. humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety.

Key Takeaways:
Any act against the aggrieved woman employee is called sexual harassment if:
  • It has any kind of preferential, detrimental or threatening treatment against her future employment status.
  • It can be a threat or promise/commitment
  • It can be implied or expressed
  • Direct or indirect from the wrong doer
Not the intention of wrong doer but the impact on aggrieved person/woman is considered to grab the case under sec. 3 of the POSH.

CHAPTER II Section 4: This chapter is comprised of only one section that speaks about the mandate of forming and ICC and also speaks about it constitution, eligibility and tenure.

Key Features:
  1. Every company must have an ICC under a written mandate
  2. It shall have members in odd numbers as to avoid a tie in decision
  3. Usually, there are a minimum of 5 member committees that the employers prefer
  4. Where the office has more than one place of business like units, branch, workshops, etc., at each of such extended places there needs to be an ICC
  5. ICC shall be headed by the Presiding Officer who shall be a senior-level woman employee
  6. If there is no senior-level female employee for the post of PO in the same office, then it can be any other female employee from other units or administrative offices of the same employer
  7. Two or more members shall be from the employees having association with activities towards women's causes and he or she should have experience in social work or a person with legal knowledge
  8. One external person to be either a social worker associated with any NGO or any group/association committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues of sexual harassment
  9. At least half of the members in ICC should be women
  10. The tenure for ICC members including PO shall be 3 years
  11. The external member shall be paid with the fees or allowances for holding/conducting the proceedings of IC
  12. If the PO or any other member is found guilty of any offence, or under trial, convicted, or found abusing his or her powers in an unlawful manner, he or she shall be evicted from the position and the position shall be filled with fresh nomination

Chapter III (Sec. 5 to 8) : Constitution of Local Complaint Committee : this chapter speaks about the constitution, composition, tenure, and other terms of Local Committee.

Key are awakes from the chapter:
  1. District Magistrate or Additional District Magistrate or the Collector or Deputy Collector are named as the District Office for the purpose of implementation of the POSH Act I their respective districts under the mandate placed by the State Government.
  2. The District Officer shall be responsible to form the Local Committee in his/her district to receive the complaints under POSH Act from the establishments where ICC is not formed for the reason of such establishment being an unorganised company having less than 10 employee.
    Where the complaint under POSH Act is ageists the principal employer
  3. Every local administrative office (block, taluka and tehsil in rural or tribal area and ward or municipality in the urban area) under the district shall have a Nodal Office who shall be responsible to receive the complaints under POSH Act and forward the same to the IC within seven days of receipt fo the complaint
  4. As prescribed in section 7 the LC shall consist of four members including the Chairperson who shall be nominated from amongst the eminent women in the field of social work and committed to the cause of women. One Member to be nominated from amongst the women working in block, taluka or tehsil or ward or municipality in the district and remaining two Members, of whom at least one shall be a woman, to be nominated from amongst such non-governmental organisations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment.
  5. At least of these 4 members of LC should be a person with either law background or has legal knowledge.
  6. At least one woman member from LC should be from SC, ST, OBC or other minority class.
  7. One of the members having a social welfare background shall be an ex-officio member. (An ex-officio member is one who holds another office or position of importance or relevance and is also part of a body, such as a board, committee, or council.
  8. The tenure of al LC member shall be 3 years
  9. If the Chairperson or any other member is found guilty of any offence, or under trial, convicted or found abusing his or her powers in an unlawful manner he or she shall be evicted from the position and the position shall be filled with fresh nomination.
  10. The external member shall be paid with the fees or allowances for holding/conducting the proceedings of LC.
  11. Section 8 mentions that the Central Government shall grant money to the State Government to be utilised for payments to the LC members towards fees or allowances. The State Government may form an agency or hire one to take care of this fund. The fund amount shall be paid to the District Officer by the agency who shall be responsible to make payment towards the fees and allowances of the LC members as per the rule. And all the tractions shall be subjected to audit by the State Government through its Accountant General.
Chapter IV  Complaint (Sec. 9 to 11) : this chapter covers the manner of complaint, settlement and process of inquiry. Since this is an important chapter with all its sections we will see them sections wise.

Key takeaways of the chapter:
Sections 9 - complaint of sexual harassment:
The aggrieved woman employee can make the complaint in writing to the IC if constituted in her Organisation or to the LC if the IC is not formed in her Organization. Although a written complaint is not mandatory, the IC/LC as the case may be, shall render all assistance to the aggrieved woman to file the written complaint.
The incident of sexual harassment should be reported to the IC/LC as the case may be, within the period of 3 months from the date of incident/last incident.

The IC/LC has powers to accept the complaint after the the lapse of the prescribed time period if the committee is satisfied with the genuineness of the reason causing the delay.
In the event of her death or physical or mental inability or any other reasonable cause to file a complaint, her legal heirs are entitled to make the complaint.

Section 10 - conciliation:
Before starting the inquiry process against the complaint as filed under sec. 9, the IC or LC, as the case may be, shall try to settle the matter between the parties, but there will not be any monetary settlement as the basis of the conciliation.

If the settlement is finalised, it shall be recorded in the prescribed manner by the IC or LC and shall be forwarded to the employer in case of IC, and to the District Officer in. Case of LC.

Both the parties will be provided with the copies of the settlement as recorded by the IC or LC as the case may be.

Once the settlement is arrived at, there will not be any inquiry conducted against the complaint.

Section 11 - Inquiry into complaint:
  1. If the Organization has service rules applicable in such cases and the respondent is the employee of the organisation then the IC shall proceed for the inquiry according to the service rules.
  2. Where there are no such rules, then within seven days of complaint the IC shall forward the complaint to the police to file the case under section 509 of IPC.
  3. Sec. 509, Indian Penal Code : Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.� Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
  4. The offence under this Section (509, IPC) is cognizable, bailable and compoundable with the permission of the Court before which any prosecution of such offence is pending and triable by any Magistrate.
  5. If post the settlement of record the aggrieved woman informs the IC or LC of non compliance of any terms of settlement by the respondent, the IC or LC as the case may be, may proceed for inquiry u/s 9 and may also forward the complaint to the police.
  6. Where both the parties are employees of the same organisation, then both of them will be given the chance to be heard and the copy of their individual submissions shall be provided to the other one to be given a chance to represent himself/herself before the committee against the particular submission.
  7. The inquiry u/s 9 and the trial u/s 509 IPC shall run independent of each other. And the trial court has all the power to award any sum of money to the aggrieved woman as it finds and feels appropriate, if the respondent is convicted of the offence. The basis of the sum of money to be awarded under sec. 509 IPC trial shall be as per the factors laid down in sec. 15 of POSH Act as mentioned below for ready reference and understanding of this particular point.
    1. the mental trauma, pain, suffering and emotional distress caused to the aggrieved woman;
    2. the loss in the career opportunity due to the incident of sexual harassment;
    3. medical expenses incurred by the victim for physical or psychiatric treatment;
    4. the income and financial status of the respondent;
    5. feasibility of such payment in lump sum or in installments. (sec. 15)
  8. Inquiry to be completed within 90 days of receipt of complaint.
  9. For conducting the inquiry the IC or LC as the case may be, shall have all the powers of a civil court as below:
    1. summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
    2. requiring the discovery and production of documents; and
    3. any other matter which may be prescribed.
    4. The inquiry shall be completed within a period of ninety days.

Chapter V: Sec. 12 to 18 - Inquiry into complaint
Process of inquiry, punishment and appeal
  1. During the pendency of the injury by IC or LC, if the aggrieved makes a written request to the committee, the committee may recommend to the employer:
    • transfer the aggrieved woman or the respondent to any other workplace;
    • grant leave to the aggrieved woman up to a period of three months; or
    • grant such other relief to the aggrieved woman as prescribed by the IC/LC.
  2. These leaves shall be in addition to the one she is entitled to in the regular course of employment, and these shall be the paid ones.
  3. The employer shall implement the recommendations by IC/LC and shall send a report as confirmation to the IC/LC.
  4. Once the inquiry is completed, the IC/LC shall send a report to the employer or District officer as the case may be within 10 days of completion of inquiry.
  5. If the allegations are found to be not proved by the IC/LC, it shall inform the employer or District officer that there is no need to take any action against the respondent.
  6. If the respondent is held guilty by the IC/LC, then the committee shall recommend on having taken action against the respondent as per the applicable service rules for the act of sexual harassment. To deduct a certain amount as per sec. 15 consideration, from his salary/wages that shall be paid to the aggrieved woman or her legal heir as the case may be. Where an amount cannot be deducted due to his absence from service, then the employer shall direct him to pay it to the complainant. If even he fails to do so, this shall be taken care of by the District Officer in the form of recovery of that sum as arrears of land revenue. (Sec. 13)
  7. Implementation of recommendations by the employer or District Officer, as the case may be, shall be done within 60 days of receipt of the report of recommendation.
  8. Section 14. Punishment for false or malicious complaint and false evidence: as per service rules applicable to the complainant. It should not invite action against the complainant if she failed to prove her case, otherwise, except in cases where there is no ground to believe it was a fake case.
  9. Sec. 15 mentions factors to be considered for finalizing compensation:
    • the mental trauma, pain, suffering, and emotional distress caused to the aggrieved woman;
    • the loss in the career opportunity due to the incident of sexual harassment;
    • medical expenses incurred by the victim for physical or psychiatric treatment;
    • the income and financial status of the respondent;
    • feasibility of such payment in lump sum or in installments.
  10. Sec. 16 & 17: no content from the complaint, testimonies, etc., shall be published in public. Punishment to the wrongdoer who has disclosed the content shall be as per the service rules.
  11. Appeal, section 18, says that an appeal against the IC/LC shall be made to the court/tribunal within 90 days from the date of recommendation.

Chapter VI : Section 19 : Duties of employer
Employers must undertake awareness programs, provide a safe working environment, provide utmost assistance to IC/LC, complaint throughout the process, display information about the POSH Act at the workplace and timely submission of reports to IC/LC.

Chapter VII: sec. 20, Duties and powers of District Officer

Chapter VIII: sec. 21 to 30 : Miscellaneous
  1. Offence under POSH is not cognizable by any court.
  2. Jurisdiction is placed only to the Metropolitan Magistrate or JMFC, but no court inferior to these ones.
  3. Penalty for employer in non-compliance cases: In cases of failure to constitute IC, or any other violations w.r.t. implementation of recommendations etc., the employer will be punished with a fine of up to 50,000.
  4. For any subsequent violation or repetition at the employer's end, the penalty/punishment shall be double the punishment that was imposed at the first conviction.
  5. The POSH documents can be called for audit by the appropriate Government anytime in the public interest or in the interest of women employees at a workplace to do so, by order in writing from the District officer or appoint any officer for inspection.

Important time periods for the whole process under this Act:
  1. Complaint to be filed within: 90 days of date of incident or date of last incident (s)
  2. Inquiry to be completed within: 90 days from receipt of complaint
  3. Respondent be given time to place his say before the IC/LC: 7 days from date of filing complaint/witness/document testimony
  4. Final report submission: 10 days after inquiry completion
  5. Implementation of IC/LC recommendation by Employer/District Officer: 60 days from date of such recommendation
  6. Appeal: 90 days from date of IC/LC report/decision

Basis of complaint:
''Sexual Harassment'' means and includes any unwelcome sexually inclined behaviour, whether directly or indirectly, such as:
  1. Physical contact and advances
  2. Demand or request for sexual favours
  3. Sexually coloured remarks
  4. Showing any pornography, or
  5. Any other unwelcome physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature

Case laws : Judicial Activism
1992 : Bhawari Devi case
This was a landmark case regarding the protection of women against sexual harassment at workplace. It was the incident of 1992 where a lower caste social worker for the women's development programme in Rajasthan named Bhanwari Devi who was trying to stop a child marriage in her village was allegedly gang-raped by five men of the upper-class community.

She went to the police station to lodge a complaint against the offenders but no thorough investigation was launched. Supreme Court held that the sexual harassment of a woman at a workplace would be violative of her fundamental rights of gender equality and right to life and liberty under Articles 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. The court concluded that such an Act would be considered as a violation of women's human rights.

Legal changes brought after the case:
After this verdict, a statutory vacuum was observed which proposed the route of judicial legislation in the context of sexual harassment at workplace. The case laid down so many guidelines and requirements which need to be fulfilled by the employer as well as other responsible persons or institutions:
  1. For preventing the acts of sexual harassment in the workplace, it should be the duty of the employer or any other responsible person to prescribe procedures and settlements.
  2. Formation of a complaint committee at all workplaces.
  3. Such a committee has to be headed by a woman employee only and should have NGO or third-party participation.
  4. Half of the members of a committee should be women only.
  5. All complaints regarding sexual harassment of a woman employee would be dealt with by this committee only; appropriate action in this regard shall be initiated by the employers in accordance with the concerned law.
  6. The committee would advise and recommend the victim for the further course of action.

Provides for the definition of sexual harassment which includes any:
"Unwelcome sexually determined behaviour & demands from males employees at workplace, such as: any physical contacts and advances, sexually coloured remarks, showing pornography, passing lewd comments or gestures, sexual demands by any means, any rumours/talk at workplace with sexually coloured remarks about a working woman, or spreading rumours about a woman's sexual relationship with anybody."

So, these guidelines were the first of its type which created for the gender equality rights of women, which should be free from harassment in both public and private employment. This judgment led the Indian Government to enact the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 which came into force from 9 December 2013. This Act superseded the Vishaka Guidelines for prevention of sexual harassment introduced by the Supreme Court of India.

These guidelines came out to be:
Measures for Prevention:
The employer is required through official notifications, circulars, notices and express instruction to prohibit acts that come under the definition of sexual harassment under the provisions of the guidelines and Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Proceedings in case of Misconduct
Appropriate disciplinary action must be taken
Redressal Mechanism
Redressal Committee

Sexual Harassment is a Subjective Experience - Delhi High Court, 2010
In 2010, the High Court of Delhi endorsed the view that sexual harassment is a subjective experience and for that reason held "We therefore prefer to analyze harassment from the [complainant's] perspective. A complete understanding of the [complainant's] view analysis of the different perspectives of men and women. Conduct that many men consider unobjectionable may offend many women... Men tend to view some forms of sexual harassment as "harmless social interactions to which only overly-sensitive women would object. The characteristically male view depicts sexual harassment as comparatively harmless amusement.... Men, who are rarely victims of sexual assault, may view sexual conduct in a vacuum without a full appreciation of the social setting or the underlying threat of violence that a woman may perceive."

(Dr. Punita K. Sodhi v. Union of India & Ors. W.P. (C) 367/2009 & CMS 828, 11426/2009; On 9 September, 2010, in the High Court of Delhi )

2012 Nirbhaya Case : Justice Verma Committee:
Post the Nirbhaya gang rape incident at Delhi a Committee named Justice Verma Committee was formed to study and recommend the reformations needed towards women safety. The major recommendations of JV Committee were as below:

Justice J.S. Verma Committee had recommended setting up of an employment tribunal instead of an internal complaints committee (ICC) in the Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Act.

The tribunal should not function as a civil court but may choose its own procedure to deal with each complaint.
Domestic workers should be included within the purview of the Act.

4. Aureliano Fernandes v. the State of Goa, [Civil Appeal No. 2482 of 2014, decided on May 12, 2023]

The supreme Court of India has expressed apprehension regarding the current state of enforcement POSH Act 2013. Consequently, the Court has issued a series of guidelines aimed at enhancing its implementation and effectiveness.

The Goa University initiated an inquiry against Mr. Aureliano Fernandes ("Appellant") based on multiple complaints from female students alleging sexual harassment. An internal committee was formed, but the Appellant's repeated absence during the enquiry proceedings led to an ex-parte order and his subsequent termination by the University. The Appellant, dissatisfied with the outcome, filed a writ petition challenging the decision in the High Court in Bombay (Goa Bench). However, the High Court upheld the committee's decision, dismissing the Appellant's claims of improper lack of fair opportunity and improper constitution of the committee.

The Appellant appealed to the Supreme Court, which found that the inquiry process was rushed, denying the Appellant adequate participation despite valid medical reasons. The Supreme Court observed that the hasty approach to the proceedings violated the principles of natural justice by denying the Appellant a fair opportunity to be heard. Due to these procedural irregularities, the Supreme Court overturned the judgment of the High Court, setting it aside.

The matter was then remanded back to the internal committee for a fresh inquiry to be conducted in accordance with the principles of natural justice. Furthermore, the Supreme Court has directed that considering the significant amount of time that has passed, the respondents are instructed to complete the entire process within three months from the first date of hearing fixed by the internal committee.

Directions by Supreme Court
To fulfil the promise that the PoSH Act holds out to working women all over the country, it is deemed appropriate to issue the following directions:
  1. The Union of India, all State Governments and Union Territories are directed to undertake a time bound exercise to verify as to whether all the concerned Ministries, Departments, Government organisations, authorities, Public Sector Undertakings, institutions, bodies, etc. have constituted ICCs/LCs/ICs, as the case may be and that the composition of the said Committees are strictly in terms of the provisions of the PoSH Act.
  2. It shall be ensured that necessary information regarding the constitution and composition of the ICCs/LCs/ICs, details of the e-mail IDs and contact numbers of the designated person(s), the procedure prescribed for submitting an online complaint, as also the relevant rules, regulations and internal policies are made readily available on the website of the concerned Authority/Functionary/ Organisation/Institution/Body, as the case may be. The information furnished shall also be updated from time to time.
  3. A similar exercise shall be undertaken by all the Statutory bodies of professionals at the Apex level and the State level (including those regulating doctors, lawyers, architects, chartered accountants, cost accountants, engineers, bankers and other professionals), by Universities, colleges, Training Centres and educational institutions and by government and private hospitals/nursing homes.
  4. Immediate and effective steps shall be taken by the authorities/ managements/employers to familiarize members of the ICCs/LCs/ICs with their duties and the manner in which an inquiry ought to be conducted on receiving a complaint of sexual harassment at the workplace, from the point when the complaint is received, till the inquiry is finally concluded and the Report submitted.
  5. The authorities/management/employers shall regularly conduct orientation programmes, workshops, seminars and awareness programmes to up-skill members of the ICCs/LCs/ICs and to educate women employees and women's groups about the provisions of the Act, the Rules and relevant regulations.
  6. The National Legal Services Authority(NALSA) and the State Legal Services Authorities(SLSAs) shall develop modules to conduct workshops and organise awareness programmes to sensitise authorities/managements/employers, employees and adolescent groups with the provisions of the Act, which shall be included in their annual calendar.
  7. The National Judicial Academy and the State Judicial Academies shall include in their annual calendars, orientation programmes, seminars and workshops for capacity building of members of the ICCs/LCs/ICs established in the High Courts and District Courts and for drafting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to conduct an inquiry under the Act and Rules.
  8. A copy of this judgment shall be transmitted to the Secretaries of all the Ministries, Government of India who shall ensure implementation of the directions by all the concerned Departments, Statutory Authorities, Institutions, Organisations etc. under the control of the respective Ministries. A copy of the judgment shall also be transmitted to the Chief Secretaries of all the States and Union Territories who shall ensure strict compliance of these directions by all the concerned Departments. It shall be the responsibility of the Secretaries of the Ministries, Government of India and the Chief Secretaries of every State/Union Territory to ensure implementation of the directions issued.
  9. The Registry of the Supreme Court of India shall transmit a copy of this judgment to the Director, National Judicial Academy, Member Secretary, NALSA, Chairperson, Bar Council of India and the Registrar Generals of all the High Courts. The Registry shall also transmit a copy of this judgment to the Medical Council of India, Council of Architecture, Institute of Chartered Accountants, Institute of Company Secretaries and the Engineering Council of India for implementing the directions issued.
  10. Member-Secretary, NALSA is requested to transmit a copy of this judgment to the Member Secretaries of all the State Legal Services Authorities. Similarly, the Registrar Generals of the State High Courts shall transmit a copy of this judgment to the Directors of the State Judicial Academies and the Principal District Judges/District Judges of their respective States.
  11. The Chairperson, Bar Council of India and the Apex Bodies mentioned in sub-para (ix) above, shall in turn, transmit a copy of this judgment to all the State Bar Councils and the State Level Councils, as the case may be.

The legislation on protecting women from sexual abuses and harassment at the workplaces aims at not only creating a safe space, but also unleashing their full potential, enabling them to contribute effectively to their organisations and society as a whole. At the same time it is pertinent to note that solely having laws to protect women from such abuses is actually not serving the purpose or safeguarding the rationale behind these enactments but it is only through our continued commitment, education, and collective action and efforts that we can work towards creating and shaping a future where workplaces are truly free of harassment and biases, and everyone can breathe freely and move forward without fear and hesitation.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Shraddha Abhijit Banchhode
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: AG359046850683-12-0823

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