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Analysis of the existing regulations in India on Sexual Harassment at Workplace

Sexual harassment at workplace is an extension of violence in everyday existence. It is a violation of important rights of a women to equality as in line with Articles 14 and 15 and her right to live with dignity in Article 21 of the constitution of India. Sexual harassment of girls is a worldwide phenomenon regular every in advanced further to in developing international locations.

Cutting at some stage in religion, culture, race, caste, elegance and geographical barriers it has spread like virus within side the society. It being offensive to human dignity, human rights and gender equality.

In India a women is sexually compelled every 12 minutes. It being offensive to human dignity, human rights and gender equality has emerges from gender discriminatory attitudes and is a complex interplay of gender power and sexuality. Sexual harassment is a habitual problem throughout the globe. Different international locations have taken measures to cope with the effects of this sort of problem. Due to industrialization, globalization, development in numerous fields, characteristic of women is changing rapidly in India.

Today girls in India are showing improvement in nearly all the fields which include training, economics, politics, media, art, region, and culture, company sectors, technological knowledge and technology etc., As the feature of girls gas shifted from own family art work to enterprise world, offences in the direction of girls are also accelerated day with the resource of the usage of day. Sexual harassment is currently decided as a reflect picture of male predominance over women. Most of the times, men use their very own family situations and monetary crisis. In case if any ladies show rejection they may loses their job or it can have an impact on their job.

Definition Of Sexual Harassnent?

Section:2(n) of the POSH Act, describes sexual harassment as unwelcome acts or behavior whether or not or now no longer immediately or through manner of way of implication namely:
  • Physical contact or advances
  • A name for or request for sexual favors,
  • Making sexually colored remarks,
  • Showing pornography a few different unwelcome physical,
  • Verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

The Act Moreover Gives The Events Under Which An Act May Also Moreover Amount To Sexual Harassment. These Are:
  1. implied or particular promise of preferential treatment in her employment or
  2. implied or unique risk of adverse treatment in her employment or
  3. implied or precise threat about her present or future employment popularity or
  4. interference collectively along side her artwork or growing an intimidating or offensive or unfavourable artwork environment or
  5. humiliating treatment likely to have an impact on her health or safety.
     

Definition Of Workplace

A administrative center is defined as any place visited the employee springing up out of or at a few degree within side the course of employment, collectively with transportation provided the agency for project this kind of journey. As in keeping with this definition a place of work covers every the organized and un-organized sectors. It moreover includes all locations of work whether or not or now no longer owned with the resource of the use of Indian or distant places corporation having a administrative middle in India.

Workplace Includes
As in keeping with section:2(n)(o) of the act describes place of job as:
  1. Government organizations at the side of government company, companies and co-operative societies
  2. Private region agencies, venture, society, trust, NGO or service providers etc., 
  3. Imparting services which may be enterprise, vocational, instructional, sports, professional, entertainment, industrial, health related or monetary activities, etc.,
  4. Hospitals, nursing homes,
  5. Sports institutes, a dwelling vicinity or house etc.,

Unorganized Sector Means
Any business enterprise owned via an character or self-employed worker engaged within side the production or sale of merchandise or supplying services of any kind.
Any organization which employs much less than 10 personnel.

Two Types Of Forms On Sexual Harassment

Quid-Pro-Quo: (This for that)
Someone in a position of power demands a sexual favor in exchange for a benefit or for not imposing a negative consequence.

Hostile Work Environment:

(includes except Quid-pro-quo)
Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature or based on sex or gender so severe or pervasive that it affects terms and conditions of employment so as to create a hostile or abusive work environment.

Development Of Law On Sexual Harassment In India

Landmark judgment case Vishaka And Ors Vs. State Of Rajasthan And Ors. AIR 1997 SC 3011

The vishaka judgment workplace sexual harassment in India, come to be for the very first time recognized with the resource of the use of the supreme court of India in its landmark judgment. Vishaka and one of a kind women filed public interest litigation in competition to state of Rajasthan and Union of India to enforce the important fundamental  rights of working women under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the constitution of India.

The petition turn out to be filed after Bhanwari Devi, a social worker in rajasthan have become brutally gang raped for stopping a child marriage. The supreme court of India created legally binding hints basing it on the right to equality and dignity accorded under the Indian Constitution further to the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination in the direction of Women (CEDAW). 

India finally enacted its law on prevention of sexual harassment against female employees at the workplace. The sexual harassment of women at workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 has been made effective on 23 April 2013 by way of publication in the Gazette of India. The judgment was given by a 3 judge bench which held that the fundamental rights provided under Article 14, 15, 19(1)(g) and Article 21 of the constitution of India are violated by the act of sexual harassment.

Vishaka Guidelines Were

It can be the duty of the agency or unique responsible oldsters in workplaces or one of a kind institutions to prevent or deter the price of acts of sexual harassment and to provide the techniques for the choice, settlement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment via taking all steps requied.

Sexual Harassment includes such unwelcome sexually determined behavior as:
  1. Physical contact and advances
  2. A name for or request for sexual favor.
  3. Sexually colored remarks.
  4. Showing pornography.
  5. Any distinct unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature. 
     

Salient Features Of The Act From Guidelines

  1. Effective from April 23, 2013 the Act is applicable to the whole of India.
  2. The sexual harassment of women at workplace (prevention, prohibition and redressal) Act, 2013 makes it illegal to sexually harassment of women in the workplace.
  3. This Act is only for women who are sexually harassed.
  4. A workplace can be any office, whether government or private.
  5. This Act defines sexual harassment at the work place and creates a mechanism for redressal of complaints.

Process Of Filing A Complaints

A criticism of sexual harassment can be filed inner a time limit of 3 months. This may be extended to another 3 moths if the girl can display that grave events avoided her from doing the same. The act has a provision for conciliation. The ICC/LCC can take steps to settle the hassle a number of the aggrieved woman and the respondent, however this option is probably used best at the request of the female.

The committee is wanted to complete the inquiry internal a time period of 90 days. On very last contact of the inquiry, the file might be sent to the agency or the district officer due to the fact the case may be mandated to take movement on the document within 60 days. In case the allegation in competition to the respondent has now no longer been proved then the committee can write to the enterprise/district officer that no movement desires to be taken within side the matter.

Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)

  1. Presiding officer must be a woman
  2. Not less than two members, who had experience in social work or have legal knowledge.
  3. One person from NGO committed to cause of women or familiar with issues relating to sexual harassment on allowance basis.
  4. Social worker with at least 5 years experience in the field of social work with leads to creation of societal conditions favorable towards empowerment of women.
  5. Organizations/establishments having more than 10 members
  6. ˝ of the total members should be women.
  7. The members shall hold office for a period of 3 years.

Local Complaints Committee (LCC)

  1. Presiding member must be a women.
  2. A chairperson from amongst the eminent women in the field of social work.
  3. One person shall be a women belonging to the scheduled castes or the scheduled tribes or other backward classes.
  4. A concerned person dealing with social welfare or women and child development in the area shall be a member of ex officio.
  5. One person from amongst the women working in block, Taluk, or municipality in the district.
  6. Local complaints committee shall consist of the following to be appointed by the district officer.
  7. Chairperson and every members shall hold office for a period of 3 years.

Preventive Steps On Workplace Sexual Harassment

  1. Clarify workplace and conduct expectations with a strong anti-harassment insurance
  2. The tone from the top significantly impacts employee behavior. Make advantageous senior leaders are placing an high quality example.
  3. Reduce risk with the resource of the usage of taking precautions.
  4. Educate employees and placed into impact schooling. Tech your workplace the manner to be greater aware about beside the factor behavior and better ready to stumble on and prevent incidents.
  5. Try to avoid emphasizing criminal duty at some point of sexual harassment seminars.
  6. Discourage bad behavior. 
  7. Monitor the place of business and be concerned. Know the warning signs and symptoms and signs of horrible.
  8. Offer an internal grievance system preferably with the selection to live anonymous. Example: a hotline or online grievance form. Then teach employees the manner to apply it.
  9. Resolve incidents. Acknowledge proceedings, respond carefully, test out rapid and area accordingly.
  10. Avoid sexual jokes, comments and e-mails.
  11. Not touch anyone without their permission.
  12. Treat all complaints seriously and confidently. Do not ignore any allegation.

Legal Provisions Given Under Indian Constitution Were

Rights guaranteed under the Indian constitution of part III, that certain rights for the protection of rights of women are as follows:
  • Article.14 states about right to equality.
  • Article.15 states that prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or birth of place.
  • Article.16 states about equality of opportunity
  • Article.19 states about protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc.
  • Article.21 states about protection of life and personal liberty.
  • Article. 23 states about prohibition of traffic in human being and forced labor.
  • Article. 25 states about freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.
  • Article.39 states about certain principles of policy to be followed by the state- the state shall in particular direct its policy towards securing:
    • Men and women equally have the right to an adequate means of livelihood.
    • There is equal pay for equal work for both men and women
    • Health and strength of workers men and women and tender age of children are not abused and citizens are not forced by economic necessity.
  • Article. 39-A Equal justice to free legal aid.
  • Article. 42 provisions for just and humane condition of work and maternity reliefs.
  • Article.51 A Fundamental Duties- (e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities, to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.

Other Legal Provisions Related To Sexual Offences

In Indian penal code 1860, Section-375 gives definition about Rape, as a man is said to commit the offence of rape with a woman under the following six circumstances
  1. Sexual intercourse against the victims will.
  2. Without the victims consent.
  3. With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person that she may be interested in fear of death or hurt.
  4. With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband.
  5. With her consent, when at the time of giving such consent she was intoxicated or is suffering from unsoundness of mind and unable to understand the nature etc.,
  6. With or without her consent when she is under 16 years of age.

Section- 354 Assault of criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty.
Section-354(A) sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment.
Section-354(B) Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe.
Section- 354(C) it is a crime to look at or capture a woman going about her private acts.
Section-354(D) Stalking 
Section -376(A) Punishes sexual intercourse with wife without her consent by a judicially separated husband.
Section-376(B) punishes for sexual intercourse by a public servant with a woman in custody.
Section-376(C) punishes sexual intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand house, etc
Section-376(D) punishes sexual intercourse by any member of the management or staff of a hospital with any woman in that hospital.
Section- 509 Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.
Section- 509(A) Sexual harassment by relative.
Sectiob-509(B) Sexual harassment by electronic mode.

Statistics On Sexual Harassment At Workplaces

Statistics between the year 2013 to 2014 the national charge for women stated a 35% increase in court cases from 249 (20130 to 336 (2014)

Statistics in 2014 to 2015 in India 70% of strolling women do now not record workplace sexual harassment because of the truth they feared of survival.

Between 2014 and 2015 times of sexual harassment inner place of job premises more than doubled from 57 to 119 in keeping with countrywide crime records. There has been a 51% rise in sexual harassment times at exceptional places related to artwork from 469 in 2014 and 714 times in 2015.

Statistics in 2018 to 2019, the countrywide charge for ladies received 88 court cases of sexual harassment at the administrative center. 196 complaints from the central government and 103 complaints from state government and 313 from private organizations as per a government response to the Rajya sabha in july 2019. 70% of the 539 complaints filed between November 2017 and February 2020 were pending.

Statistics in 2019, 505 cases on insult to modesty of women at the job or in office premises were recorded of 5% from 2017 and nearly 800% from 57 cases in 2014. 31.1% cases pending investigation in 2019 and 93.9% cases were pending in court. 431 total cases charge sheeted and 777 total cases for investigation.

Statistics in 2021, approximately 72% of job place sexual harassment victims do not report it. 81% of women have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime. Almost three-quarters were harassed by someone more senior in their organization. 98% of companies have a corpaorate sexual harassment policy, but only 51% implemented new policies or training in response to the #Metoo movement.

Conclusion
The recognition of the right to protection against sexual harassment is intrinsic safety of the protection of the women’s human rights. It is all a step within side course of offering women’s independence equality of opportunity and the right at work with dignity. Sexual harassment at workplace is a legal wrong. Sexual harassment at workplace is a social challenge that needs to be addressed. It goals to accumulate confidence among woman personnel to rise up towards harassment.

Government should make separate laws dealing with this issue of women’s. It realize that women worker also constitute a part of working population in India. Woman should be treated equally to men and gender discrimination should not take place at the workplace. Effective policy, implementation of laws reduce the offences of sexual harassment. It aims to build up confidence amongst female employees to standup against sexual harassment.

It makes the employer duty-bound to ensure a harassment free environment for women to enhance work productivity. A honest and independent studies system, the right and opportunity to explicit, better and equitable right at work conditions and advised exceptions, due to the fact the case can be are distinct important components of a strong system.

Reference:
  • The Constitution of India,1950  law and justice publishing Co
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1862
  • The Sexual Harassment of Woman at Workplace (Prevention, Protection and Redressal Act),2013
  • https://www.statistics/suggested-women-harassment-india
  • https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/sexual-harassment-workplace
  • https://www.legalserviceindia.com/article/sexual-harassment-at-workplace
  • https://vikaspedia.in/social-welfare/women-and-child-development/women-development/policies-and-acts-1/sexual-harassment-of-women-at-workplace/workplace-sexual-harassment

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