A single touch amounts to sexual harrassmet ? POSH 2013 ( in brief )

What did this POSH Act refer to ? So it commonly referred to, an Indian law enactment with the objective of making workplaces safer for women by preventing, prohibiting and redressing acts of sexual harassment against them in the workplace.

Why this act was needed ?The need for such legislation was observed first time by the Supreme Court, in Vishaka v State of Rajasthan. Sexual harassment at a workplace is considered violation of women’s right to equality( article 14 and 15) , life ( article 21) and liberty ( article 19(1)g) . It creates an insecure and hostile work environment, which discourage women’s participation in work, thereby adversely affecting their social and economic empowerment and the goal of inclusive growth. So there was much need for legislation against this sexual harassment at working place.

What is the objective behind POSH 2013 ? The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 (“the Act”) was enacted with the objective to provide protection against sexual harassment of women at workplace and for the prevention and redressal of complaints of sexual harassment and for matter connected therewith or incidental thereto , that was mentioned under section 2(o) of the act .

What is sexual harrassment? Section 2(n) discribe a sexual harassment as unwelcome acts or behavior (whether directly or by implication) namely, physical contact and advances, a demand or request for sexual favors, making sexually colored remarks, showing pornography, any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature .

Can a touch to women amount to sexual harrament ?

a women can commit sexual harrassment on another women ?

So both the question were answered in Shanta Kumar vs CSIR , where Delhi high court held that “undoubtedly, physical contact or advances would constitute sexual harassment provided such physical contact is a part of the sexually determined behaviour. a physical contact which has no undertone of a sexual nature and is not occasioned by the gender of the complainant may not necessarily amount to sexual harassment.

What are the offensive circumstances in which sexual harassment is done ?

The Act also provides the circumstances under which an act may amount to sexual harassment under section 6(2) . These are:

(i) implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her employment; or

(ii) implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in her employment ; or

(iii) implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status; or environment for her; or

(iv) interference with her work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work

(v) humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety.

Where the problem would be redressed under POSH : so section 4 provides for setting up of Internal Complaints Committee at every office of the organisation or institution, having more than 10 employees, to hear and redress complaints pertaining to sexual harassment. Section 11 reads that , The committee has to complete the inquiry within a period of 90 days. As per section 12, The committee can give certain interim reliefs to the aggrieved woman during the pendency of the inquiry.

What if the complaint by said victim is Mala fide ? case of filing of false or malicious complaint or false evidence the committee may recommend to the employer or District Officer to take action in accordance with the provisions of service rules or where no such service rules exist, in such manner as prescribed in Rule 10 of the Rules

Is identity of a women victim disclose ? No according to section 16 of posh 2013 , There is a prohibition on publication of identity of the aggrieved woman, respondent, witnesses, contents of the complaint, inquiry proceedings or recommendations of the committee, except information regarding the justice secured to any victim of sexual harassment.

In last what would be the punishment for accused ? When the employer fails to constitute an Internal Committee or breaches provisions of this Act or any rules made thereunder, they shall be punishable with fine of fifty thousand rupees (INR 50,000).

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