Facts of the Research Problem
The existing case arose when Medha Kotwal Lele, the facilitator of Aalochana, a
centre for documentation and examination of women, and other women's rights
organisations, among others, filed an appeal with the Court, citing numerous
instances of inappropriate behaviour and claiming that the Vishaka Directives
were not being effectively implemented.
The candidates said that, despite the
regulations, women were nevertheless harassed at work because the Vishaka
Guidelines were being broken in both content and spirit by state officials who
harassed women employees through legal and illegal ways, making them to suffer
and insulting their nobility. Medha Kotwal wrote a letter in which she detailed
several incidents of sexual harassment and expressed her dissatisfaction with
the Vishaka Guidelines' implementation.
By converting the letter into a writ petition, the Supreme Court tried to
monitor the use of the Vishaka Guidelines across the country by directing State
Governments to produce affirmations highlighting the steps they took to
implement the Vishaka Guidelines. A substantial portion of the states had a poor
showing, according to the results.
Problem of Law
- Whether individual state governments had made the changes to procedure
and policy required by the Vishaka Guidelines and a number of earlier orders of the
The Court stated that the Vishaka Guidelines must be implemented in form,
content, and spirit in order to assist achieve gender equality by ensuring that
women may work with dignity, tolerance, and respect. It was noted that the
Vishaka Guidelines urge both employers and other conscious individuals or
foundations to keep an eye on them and to assist prevent women from engaging in
The Court referred to its prior findings on January 17,
2006, that the Vishaka Guidelines had not been properly implemented by various
Indian states and departments, as well as the course it offered at the time to
help with improved coordination and implementation.
The Court then noted that a few states had failed to execute prior Court
decisions that had required them to make their legislation comply with the
Vishaka Guidelines. It was discovered that a few states had just changed select
portions of their enactments rather than making all of the necessary changes,
and that others had made much less progress. The Court underlined the need of
preventing all forms of barbarism.
"Hollow rhetoric, empty articulations, and
latent and insufficient legislation with haphazard execution are insufficient
for genuine and true upliftment of our half most precious people - the women,"
it said. As needs be, it held that the Vishaka Guidelines ought not stay simply
representative but instead will give guidance until the authoritative
sanctioning of the Bill.
Analysis and Interpretation
The Court in Medha not only reiterates the precedent Vishaka v. State of
Rajasthan (6SCC 241, 1997). It actually recognizes the possibility of litigation
seeking implementation of judicial decisions. In the words of Colin Gonsalves,
founder of HRLN:
Though the guidelines were set many years ago, they remained
unimplemented. This decision attempts to force implementation and it resurrects
the almost forgotten guidelinesŁ
Conclusion & Recommendations
Sexual harassment created an uneasy and hostile environment for the lady, as
well as affecting her work performance. It also had an impact on their social
and financial growth, as well as putting them under a lot of physical,
emotional, and mental strain. The Vishaka Guidelines were established in 1997 by
the Supreme Court of India in the Vishaka Judgment.
Employees have a legal right to a safe work environment, but sexual harassment
is a serious violation of that right. As a result, employers and organisations
bear the primary responsibility for eliminating sexual harassment in all
structures within their workplace. The POSH Act is effective in providing women
with a safe and secure working environment, both physically and virtually. If
the recommendations in the guidelines are implemented, it may result in a better
implementation of the Act, which will go a long way toward protecting women's
The fundamental shift in association work to a work-from-home model has a number
of drawbacks, one of which is the risk of sexual abuse. With the rise of virtual
working, all of an organization's representatives are in close proximity. This
increases the use of online correspondence, whether for formal or informal
With technological advancements, the workforce has found more
effective ways to harm women by delivering explicit unfavourable viewpoints,
obscene gestures, and other inappropriate remarks via text messages, video
chats, and online existence, believing it to be harmless. That probably won't
get featured in these online correspondence channels, as chiefs are not
observing each message of the gatherings so shaped.
Many women are facing this new type of harassment as a result of the pandemic.
They feel uncomfortable when their employer inquires about their personal life,
such as what they are wearing, after-hours and uninvited calls in the middle of
the night, or pressure to attend after-hours Zoom parties on a full-body visual.
In general, women are unclear what constitutes harassment in virtual employment
and whether or not they may raise their voice. This is why many aggrieved women internalise their rage and fear, which can lead to physical sickness, poor
performance, and anxiety.