Sexual and Mental Harrasmant Cases

Sexual harassment is nothing less than the showcasing of male dominance. Given an opportunity, such men (those committing sexual harassment) would try fulfilling their desire. However, it also not true that all cases of sexual harassment are such- where the accused is guilty of conceiving the intention of a sexual intercourse. But it also depends on each individual case and circumstances, because it may well be the case that the woman may also be at fault.

The question is not whether women have the right to bodily integrity, as this right is already adumbrated under Article.21 of the Constitution of India. Article.21, which guarantees the right to life and liberty to men and women both alike- but whether it is really imperative to take a decisive step towards extirpating this evil and make the contemporary and future society a safe haven for women.

As stated by the Supreme Court, these guidelines are applicable to:
⇒ The employer or other responsible persons or other institutions to prevent sexual harassment and to provide procedures for the resolution of complaints;
⇒ Women who either draw a regular salary, receive an honorarium, or work in a voluntary capacity- in the government, private or organized sector come under the purview of these guidelines.

Preventive Steps:
⇒ Express prohibition of sexual harassment should be notified and circulated.
⇒ Inclusion of prohibition of sexual harassment in the rules and regulations of government and public sector.
⇒ Inclusion of prohibition of sexual harassment in the standing orders under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 by the private employers.
⇒ Provision should be made for appropriate work conditions for women.

Procedure pertaining to filing of complaints:
⇒ Employers must provide a Complaints Committee which is to be headed by a woman; of which half members should be women.
⇒ Complaints Committee should also include an NGO or other organization- which is familiar with sexual harassment.
⇒ Complaints procedure should be time bound.
⇒ Confidentiality of the complaints procedure has to be maintained.
⇒ Complainant or witnesses should not be victimized Or discriminated against- while dealing with complaints.
⇒ The Committee should make an annual report to the concerned Government department and also inform of the action (if any) taken so far by them.

Miscellaneous Provisions:
⇒ Guidelines should be prominently notified to create awareness as regards the rights of the female employees.
⇒ The employers should assist the persons affected, in cases of sexual harassment by outsiders or third parties.
⇒ Sexual harassment should be discussed at worker’s meetings, employer-employee meetings and at other appropriate forums.
⇒ Both Central and State governments are required to adopt measures including legislations to insure that private employers also observe these guidelines.