Sexual Harassment Of Women At Workplace

Question by: Shri Rajeshbhai Chudasama, Shrimati Sumalatha Ambareesh, Shri D.K.Suresh, Dr. Virendra Kumar

  1. Whether the Government has taken cognizance of recent allegations of sexual harassment complaints filed by many women from various industries and if so, the details thereof;
  2. whether the Government has proposed to set up a committee to investigate such complaints;
  3. if so, the details thereof;
  4. whether the Government plans to set up a special court for speedy disposal of sexual harassment allegations and if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor; and
  5. whether the Government has put an effective mechanism in place to create awareness among women about harassment/ exploitation in work places and if so, the details thereof?

Answer by: Minister of Women and Child Development (Shrimati Smriti Zubin Irani)

  • The Government of India enacted ‘The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013’ (SH Act) with the aim to provide safe and secure work environment to women working in organised or unorganised sector. The Act casts an obligation to constitute Internal Committee (IC)/ Local Committees (LCs) for receiving complaints of sexual harassment at workplace.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has developed a handbook and a training module for effective implementation/ awareness of the SH Act. In addition, Government issues advisories from time to time to all State Governments/ UT Administrations, Ministries/ Departments of Government of India and business associations/ Chambers to ensure effective implementation of the Act. Further, an online complaint management system titled the Sexual Harassment electronic–Box (SHe-Box, has been put in place for registering complaints related to sexual harassment of women at workplace. The Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India has also issued advisories to all the Central Ministries/ Departments to complete the inquiry in a time bound manner and to include the information related to number of cases filed/ disposed under the SH Act in their annual report.
  • Apart from above, on 31st July 2018, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has amended the Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014 for mandatory inclusion of a statement in the Report of the Board of Directors about compliance with the provisions relating to the constitution of IC under the SH Act .
  • A scheme for setting up of 1023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) across the country to help adjudicate cases of Rape, and offences pending for trial under POCSO Act has also been appraised for assisting States/ UTs.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, March, 2021