A Change is to Come: Understanding Sexual Harassment Laws in the Indian Workplace

A Change is to Come:

Understanding Sexual Harassment Laws in the Indian Workplace

Abha Singh meets Women and Child Development Minister, Mr. Indeevar Pandey at Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi to address concerns with POSH Act 2013

Abha Singh, as one of the petitioners, filed a PIL addressing discrepancies of the POSH Act impacting women in the private sector. 

Following the Supreme Court order, petitioners were directed to seek legal remedies if faced with issues. 

Abha Singh, acting on this, met with the Minister of WCD to address overlooked aspects of the POSH law and bring about necessary changes.

"Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands for all women."

Maya Angelou

Within the private sector, women encounter a range of issues. Additionally, there is a notable concern for the Presiding Officers and members of the ICC (Internal Complaints Committee), as they bear the statutory responsibility of adjudicating complaints related to sexual harassment.

Such issues act as a barrier in addressing the serious issue of sexual harassment and are not ethical to the orders as per the Vishakha Guidelines

“Gender equality includes protection from sexual harassment and right to work with dignity, which is a universally recognised basic human right”.

– Hon’ble SC in Vishaka vs. State of Rajasthan (1992)

The PIL highlights the vulnerable position of an ICC member. The senior management can misuse these Officers and hold them criminally liable over the decisions that they are appointed to make. There must be a regulation and not just guidelines for the protection of these Officers.

It must be ensured that ICC members are provided grievance redressal mechanisms, protection from arbitrary termination, monitoring by the State to ensure that they do not face any form of overt or covert harassment.

Such safeguards will strengthen the implementation of POSH law and provide for substantial relief.

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