Your Queries and Response from Spl Educators of Kritarth, are as follows, Pointwise"
Query 1."Posh - Like Safety Committee/Works Committee, is it mandate for IC to meet every month?;
Response: No mandate or Guideline exist for the IC (Internal Committee) to "meet every month". It is up to the IC to use its own discretion to decide about the Frequency of its Review or Regular Meeting or to decide at what Intervals the IC shall meet except in cases where any Sexual Harassment Complaint has been lodged and an Inquiry into the said SH Complaint commenced which must be completed within stipulatedNinety Days from the Date of commencement of Inquiry Proceedings.
The The Internal Committee (IC) is Constituted under Section-4 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act 2013 and is an Independent Legal Entity neither Supervised by any Person whosoever excepting the applicable Laws of the Land nor does the IC to report to any Person for its Proceedings and or Recommendations whatsoever. The I C Presiding Officer is just required/liable under Section-21 to forward/submit an Annual Report to the District Officer in respect of each Calendar year in line with the Rule 14 of the Central Rules framed under the said Act of 2013.
Quer 2:- Can anyone explain the complete working of POSH and IC?
Response from Kritarth Team: The "Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act 2013 came into being, inter alia, pursuant to the Supreme Court's Visakha Judgement and to restate/highlight that any Act of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace constitute/amount to Violation of the Fundamental Rights of Women guaranteed by our Constitution (Article 14, 19,21 etc of India's Constitution) as well as to incorporate the Indian Sovereign ratifying the Convention in 1993 in respect of Universal Human Right and Elimination of all Forms of Discremination.
The Objective of the SHWW (P, P & R)Act 2013 is to ensure that Every Employer of Every Workplace in India is made liable/responsible to "Provide Protection to Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace" by co-creating a Safe and Secure Workplace Where No Woman Shall be Subjected to Harassment.
To achieve the stated Objective and deal with matters related thereto and connected therewith, the IC, inter alia, has been created. The IC under Section-4 shall have Minimum Four Members--Three from amongst the Employees of the respective Establishment and the Fourth shall be a Non-Employee Outsider who is fully familiar with the Issues of Workplace Sexual Harassment occurrences (quid pro quo for instance).
There are 25 Legal Duties/Tasks envisaged for the IC and to i) Orient the IC Members and ii) Educate/train them to Discharge their Duties, faithfully and properly, Twin Programs namely a) Orientation Programs and b) Capacity & Skills Building Programs have been made Mandatory for the Employers to organize and Report on Action Taken as per Section 22 of the said Act of 2013.
Section-19 of the said Act of 2013, under Heading "Duties of Employers" must be thoroughly understood.
Query 3: Is it ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) or IC (Internal Committee) - which one is right?
Response from Kritarth Team: By the Amendment dated 9th May 2016, the Word/Expression "Complaint" wherever they occur in the said Statute Text has been deleted. Hence, the proper usage/nomenclature is " Internal Committee". It is noteworthy that in the Text of the SHWW Act 2013, the expression "Internal Committee" and "Internal Complaints Committee" have been used interchangeably/alternatively.
Query 4: Like Safety Committee/Works Committee, is it mandate for IC to meet every month?
Kritarth Team's Response:- Clarified as above.
Query%:- While a woman is carrying and being an aggrieved woman, is there any preference given?
Response from Kritarth Team: There is nothing like "Preference" whatsoever. Any Aggrieved Woman of any age who alleges SH to her has the same standing, same dealing, same treatment, nothing less, as it were.
It is advisable that Every Employer understands the Consequences of Defying the said Act of 2013 because the Penalties prescribed (Section-26) for Non-Compliance/any defiance are Stringent.
For any assistance, Anyone is Welcome to reach out.
Harsh K Sharan
Spl Educator, Kritarth Team,
12th May 2018 From India, Delhi