-----"Sexual Harassment Complaint lodged by Aggrieved Women Complainant-Employer's Option-----"
During the Mandatory Awareness Programs for Employees organized by Employers of Organizations/Establishments under Section-19 of SHWW (P, P &R) Act 2013 and the Central Rules gazetted on 9.12.2013 and conducted by the Spl Educators of Team Kritarth, often, the following Query is raised:
Query: Are the Employers in India, authorized or empowered by the Laws, to "Not Refer the Sexual Harassment Complain lodged by the Aggrieved Woman-Complainant and received by the Employers (Management) and instead accept the Resignation Request Letter from the Employee against Whom the said SH Complaints have been registered....";
Clarifications offered by the Spl Educators of & IC Member (External) from Team Kritarth:
"NO, Not at all." Employers in India have No Option/ No Discretion, whatsoever, to Not Forward the SH Complaints Once they Are Lodged by or Registered with the Employers, Management Team Member either by the Aggrieved Woman-Complainant herself or by her Co-Workers and or Any Person authorized by the said SHWW (P, P &R) Act 2013.
The SH Complaints once received /lodged must invariably be forwarded to the
1. Internal Committee constituted in and for the Establishment; and
2. In case No IC has been constituted, the said SH Complainant must be forwarded to the Local Committee formed in the District; and or
3. In case the Aggrieved Woman so desired, to the Police Station for Registering necessary FIR and Action thereon.
(Under Section-9, Section-11, Section-13, Section-14, Section-15, Sections-16 & 17, Section-19, Sections-21 & 22).
Once the SH Complaint is lodged/registered and or received, Employer's Right, Prerogative, Privilege or Authority, as it were, CEASES to be exercised in any manner other than that prescribed in the Said Act 213, the IPC, on the following Grounds:
a) Sexual Harassment amounts to and is to be treated as Act of Misconduct" as per the Service Rules OR the Certified Standing Orders
applicable to the concerned Employers Organization/Establishments (refer to Section-19 (i) of SHWW Act 2013 and hence Disciplinary
Action-Steps must be Initiated by the concerned Employer without fail and Consequently his/her Act of Not Doing that instead, admitting
the Resignation Request Letter and processing the same and resulting in His Resignation Acceptance Letter is wholly Unlawful, Illegitimate,
unethical, perverse and acting against the Laws;
b) Sexual Harassment is treated as Violation of the Fundamental Right of Aggrieved Women Complainants (Articles 14 & 19 & 21 etc
guaranteed by the Constitution of India and are Enforceable by Laws As Well As & the Judiciary ( Refer to the Preamble of SHWW (P, P &R)
Act 2013; and further
c) Sexual Harassment is an offense punishable under IPC, CPC as well as breach of the Court' s Rulings relevant to the subject-matter
Is it prudent, Fair, Just and Proper for an Employer of an Organization/Establishment to disobey their Own Service Rules or the Standing Orders framed by her/him under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders ) Act 1946 and or the Shops & Esta Act and the Rules applicable AND Set an Unworthy Examples or Unhelpful Precedence?
Besides above, Now that the On-Line Portal namely SHe Box has since been launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in November 2017 and is available to any Aggrieved Woman-Complainant or Any Authorized Person, the SH Complaint can be Registered and the same is then forwarded to the concerned Employer and the Internal Committee and in case No Internal Committee has been Constituted under Section-4 of the said Act 2013, the SH Complaint would be forwarded to the Local Committee formed in Every District under Section-6.
Not Initiating Disciplinary Action-Steps as per the Provisions of the said Act 2013 and Laws applicable is Fraught with Grave RISKS of Penalties along with Possible Loss of Reputation, Goodwill, and Profitability.
Another Valid Point to Ponder is this... "What Will the Internal Committee Presiding Officer Report in her Annual Report for the Calendar Year to be Filed by her, under her Signature, before the District Officer under Sections-21 & 22 and Rule 14 of theCentral Rule gazetted on 9th Dec 2013? Will She File her Report stating that No Sexual Harassment was Lodged in the Calendar Year ?
Let us all Obey our Laws, in Letter and in the Spirit with which they were enacted by our Parliament, Legislatures and or per the Supreme Court Judgements (Article 141 of India Constitution).
Kritarth Team of Spl Educators & Member (External), Internal Committees
22nd July 2018
From India, Delhi
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