SC Asks HCs to Form Anti-Sexual Harassment Panels in All Courts in 2 Months
The Supreme Court directed all high courts’ Chief Justices or acting Chief Justices to form anti-sexual harassment committees in courts across the country within the time span of two months in compliant with a 2013 law.
Gita Mittal, the Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court has also been requested by the top court to set-up the panel in the high court and all the district courts in the NCI within a week.
> The decision was made by a bench comprising of 3 judges, i.e. Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.
> The top court was hearing a petition filed by a woman lawyer against the advocates and some members of Delhi Bar Association stating assault at the Tis Hazari district court complex in Delhi
> Setting out the petition, the bench ordered the concerned with the case to harmoniously settle their disputes.
> The court also ordered that concerned persons from both side should not be arrested relating to the two cross FIRs filed by them against each other.
> Crime branch of Delhi Police was asked by the apex court to investigate the two cross-complaints.
> Apex court also transferred the trials , to the Patiala House district court in New Delhi and directed the Bar leaders not to hinder with the administration of justice.
> The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013 requires every workplace to set up committees to probe sexual harassment complaints.
About Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act
> The act provide defense against sexual harassment of women at workplace and helps deeming complaints of sexual harassment stringently.
> The act works for any woman who is harassed in any workplace. . It is not obligatory for the woman to be working at the workplace in which she is harassed. A workplace can be any government or private office.
> The act also protects patients in hospitals, students in schools and colleges. Local authorities and employers are mandated to form grievances committees to look into all complaints.
> Despite the rule that any workplace with more than 10 employees need to form grievances committee, many employers have implemented the law.
> Parliament’s lower house Lok Sabha had passed the bill proposing the act on September 3, 2012. Rajya Sabha passed the bill on February 26, 2013
> The bill got acquiesced from the president on Apr 23, 2013, subsequent to which the act came in to force.