, 12 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Good afternoon everyone! This is @HavaldarShinde signing in for the day. Looking forward to talking about the law relating to sexual harassment and answering your questions if you have any. Let's begin!
@HavaldarShinde Let us start with thanking Bhanwari Devi because of whom we have the now landmark judgment which gave us the Vishaka guidelines for prevention of sexual harassment at workplace. The judgment was a first in Indian law for acknowledging and addressing workplace sexual harassment.
@HavaldarShinde The PoSH Act that we now of today was based on the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in the Vishakha judgment. So what is the PoSH Act and how does it work?
@HavaldarShinde The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 mandates that every employer is duty bound to provide a safe working environment for women and take all necessary steps for preventing incidents of sexual harassment at workplace.
@HavaldarShinde Section 2(n) of the Act defines sexual harassment. To simplify, sexual harassment is any unwelcome act which has sexual undertones and makes the woman to feel uncomfortable or unsafe. It does not have to be physical or verbal, a gesture is also categorized as sexual harassment.
@HavaldarShinde Another important aspect is that if a woman is asked for sexual favours in exchange of preferential treatment or if her livelihood is threatened if she denies the same, creates a hostile environment or affects the physical/mental health of the employee, it is categorized as SH
@HavaldarShinde Every workplace is to have an Internal Complaints Committee that looks into complaints of sexual harassment. Section 4(2) of the Act lays down the composition of the committee. If a workplace fails to have an ICC, a writ petition can be preferred against the employer.
@HavaldarShinde You can find the PDF version of the Act here:
@HavaldarShinde The ICC is supposed to follow principles of natural justice and give the opportunity to be heard to the aggrieved woman as well as the accused along with allowing cross examination and producing evidence and witness. ICC is supposed to act as an independent and impartial body.
@HavaldarShinde During the pendency of an inquiry, the aggrieved woman may ask to be transferred to another branch or ask for the accused to be transferred, ask for a paid leave or any other relief that may be necessary in the facts and circumstances of the case.
@HavaldarShinde Additionally, if the aggrieved wants to file a police complaint against the accused, the employer has to provide full cooperation for the same. There is no bar on filing a police complaint pending an ICC inquiry and vice versa.
@HavaldarShinde In case the complaint is proved, ICC will send its recommendation to the employer who is duty bound to implement the same and the quantum of punishment depends from case to case. In case the complaint is found to be malicious or false, action can be taken against the complainant
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