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Sexual Harrassment at workplace

Wednesday, March 04, 2015
By A Staff Reporter

Survey group expresses shock at the apparent apathy towards security of women at several big and small organisations due to ignorance of law

In an appallingly low awareness of the Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women Act, just about three per cent of the organisations in south Mumbai appear to care for women’s security at their workplace, a survey shows.

The survey, conducted at Mumbai’s business bastion Nariman Point and upcoming business district at Lower Parel, shows that even the organisations that are aware of the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, Redressal) Act, 2013 do not know how to comply with it.

The survey was done by Complykaro, a group formed to assist companies and organisations to implement and execute the provisions of the law. The group also seeks to impress upon the organisations of the stern punishments, ranging from fines up to Rs one lakh and even closure of businesses, for non-compliance.  

Participating in a media meet, as part of the Knowledge Series hosted by the Press Club – Mumbai in the context of the International Women’s Day falling on March 8, Mr Vishal Kedia, founder and director of Complykaro Services Private Limited said, “We are shocked at the apparent apathy towards the security of women at several big and small organisations due to ignorance of law. Sexual harassment cases occurring in organisations that do not comply can have disastrous effects for them as they can face permanent closure of business apart from penalty and imprisonment.”

Mr Kedia said a little known fact is that Justice Rama V Subramanian of Madras High Court by order dated 2.09.2014 has directed one company to pay ad-hoc compensation of Rs 1.68 crores as damages for not having an internal complaints committee as mandated by law. Non-compliance with the law could even invite prosecution for abatement of the case of harassment, he said.

Under the law, Mr Kedia said, “Any and every company, group, institution, organisation, including schools and colleges, clubs, malls and organisers of sports meets, are supposed to meet with the compliance of the law.” Public limited company, private limited company, limited liability partnership, partnership firms, association, society, trust, proprietorship, NGO etc has to comply with the said Act.

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