The petitioner also sought the SC’s direction to the states and UTs to constitute local complaints committee (LCC) in each district, appoint district officers, nodal officers, set up an internal complaints committee in all workplaces and ensure that compliance reports are published in public domain.
The petitioner also sought the SC’s direction to the states and UTs to constitute local complaints committee (LCC) in each district, appoint district officers, nodal officers, set up an internal complaints committee in all workplaces and ensure that compliance reports are published in public domain.

Sexual harassment at workplace: SC seeks states’ response on implementation of law

A plea seeks implementation of the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act by all states and UTs

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday sought a response from all the states and union territories on a plea seeking implementation of the law governing sexual harassment of women at the workplace.

The matter was brought before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra who issued notice to the 37 states and Union Territories and asked them to file their response on the issue.

The plea brought by NGO, Initiatives for Inclusion Foundation, sought implementation of the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 by all states and UTs.

The law passed in 2013 envisaged setting up of Internal Complaints Committee in all workplaces, district officers, nodal agencies and other redressal mechanisms in the form of local complaints committee (LCC) in each state to provide protection against women at the workplace.

The statute superseded the Vishaka guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in 1997 for prevention and redressal of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.

In line with this, the petitioner sought the court’s direction to the states and UTs to constitute LCCs in each district, appoint district officers, nodal officers, set up an internal complaints committee in all workplaces and ensure that compliance reports are published in public domain.

It was claimed by the NGO that four years into the passing of the Act, such mechanisms had not been created by various states and UTs. This has been based on Right To Information (RTI) applications filed by it for information regarding status of implementation of the Act by states .

Through the RTI responses, it was seen that with respect to constitution of LCCs in each district, only five states—Madhya Pradesh (51), Karnataka (30), Kerala (14), Chhattisgarh (27), Haryana (21) and two Uts—Dadar and Nagar Haveli (1), Daman and Diu (1) had provided complete details. The states of Telangana, Goa, Rajasthan and Maharashtra are in the process of constituting LCCs. No state provided any information on appointment of nodal officers to receive complaints.

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