Protection against Sexual Harassment & Right to work with dignity is a universally recognized human right as part of the convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination ratified on 23rd June,1993. In India Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace was recognized for the first time by the Hon’ble SUPREME COURT in 1997 in the case of Vishakha v/s State of Rajasthan. In the year 2013 Sexual Harassment Of Women At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal ) Act, 2013 was enacted. The object of the Act is – a) Protection against sexual harassment of women at workplace b)Prevention of sexual harassment of women at workplace and c) Redressal of Complaints.
The Sexual Harassment Of Women At Workplace ( Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal ) Act 2013 ( SHA ) makes it mandatory for any organisation, undertaking, establishment, office , institution, private sector organisation, society, trust, NOGos, hospitals, nursing homes or hotels employing more than 10 people, to
- Constituting the ICC ;
- Conduct awareness and training programs and conduct capacity building workshops for ICC members ; and
- File the annual report as per Section 21 and 22 of the Act
As Section 21 and 22 of the SHA , the ICC is required to prepare an annual report and submit the same to the employer and the District Officer.
The Annual report shall contain the following details such as :-
- Number of complaints of sexual harassment received in the year;
- Number of complaints disposed off during the year;
- Number of cases pending more than ninety days
- Number of workshops or awareness programme against sexual harassment carried out.
- Nature of action taken by the employer.
If the Employer fails to comply with its obligations under the Act as detailed hereinabove ; the employer is liable to pay a fine upto Rs. 50,000/-
For a susubsequent conviction for the same offence , the employer is liable for
- Twice the punishment which was imposed on the first conviction
- Cancellation, of license or withdrawal, or non-renewal, or approval, or cancellation of registration by the Government or local authority required for carrying on his business or activity
The Maharashtra State Government ( Women and Child Development Department) vide notification dated 11 September 2014 has notified the Additional Collector of every District to be the District Officer under the Act to carry out all the roles and responsibilities under the Act .
The Additional Collector has an additional duty to forward a brief report on the annual report received to the State Government.
It is incumbent on the appropriate government ( Government of Maharashtra – Women and Child Development Department ) to monitor the implementation of the Act
Additional Collector of each District to ensure compliance and impose penalty in case of non-compliance