The Supreme court has called for all the states to submit their response with respect to a request filed by the NGO ‘ Initiative for Inclusive Foundation’ (IIF) seeking effective implementation of laws on the prevention of sexual harassment of women at the workplace, in the secret sector.
The Centre informed the Supreme Court bench comprising of CJI Dipak Misra, Justice A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud, that the government has requested the leading business associations like ASSOCHAM and FICCI to ensure efficient implementation of the Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013.
Advocate Madhavi Diwan is representing the Ministry of Women and Child Development, told the court that on June 2, 2017 it had issued advisories to all the States and UTs for effective execution of the Act, advising them to coordinate workshops and awareness programs in all the departments and agencies to make employees aware about the commissariat of the Act.
The Centre in its affidavit also mentioned near the founding of “She-Box”, an attempt by the government of India to provide a single window access to every woman, irrespective of her employment status, regardless of whether she exercises in an organized or unorganized sector, to facilitate the complaint mechanism of sexual harassment lawsuits.
The petitioner NGO contended that the affidavit has not mentioned about the carrying out bodies at several points. He also cited several cases of sexual harassment at private offices.
The Delhi based NGO had earlier filed a PIL in the Supreme Court through Advocate Esha Shekhar in which it stated that even the local police officers and complaint committees were not being nominated and the victims of sexual harassment did not have appropriate forums to register charges. The petitioner also argued that the efficient carrying out of the victuals of the Act is not possible unless all the district offices are notified about the same and complaint committee are formed.
Report By: Manavi Joshi, Student Reporter, INBA