---Why Internal Committees Must Complete Inquiry in 90 Days-Rationale---
Internal Committees our Law-bound to conclude Inquiries into Sexual Harassment Complaints within the prescribed period of Ninety (90) Days. Section-11, Subsection (4) of SHWW (P, P&R) Act 2013, sums up as follows:-
“The Inquiry shall be completed within a period of ninety days in accordance with the provisions of the Service Rules OR Certified Standing Orders applicable to Employee-Respondents."
Let’s remember that Laws do not ask anyone if we will Obey for that is Not the Choice; the Only Choice is How & When; before or after Penalties are imposed for the violation. IC Members run the Risks of i) Removal from IC for dereliction of Duty;
The rationale for Completing Inquiry in 90 Calendar Days, include:
1. Law forbids delay. Maybe justifiable reasons like long illness of Complainant or Respondent, unavailability of IC P O or Members, albeit rare;
2. Avoiding Peak Anxieties likely to affect the Health & Safety of participants;
3. Accumulation of Tasks kept pending while attending IC Inquiry causing disruption, delay in Service Delivery; Temp Deployment of Colleagues to finish Imp Essential Jobs;
4. SH amount to Violation of Fundamental Rights guaranteed by Constitution, hence prolonged Inquiry is dishonoring our own Sovereignty, setting a bad precedent;
5. Anything worth doing is Worth Doing Well; Why waste Time; Damn Care Attitude prove unhelpful
In my experience as IC Member (External), I notice the Aggrieved Harassed Woman suffering a sense of some deathless shame yet surviving every ordeal because the fire inside her burns brighter than fire surrounding her & she waits to prove she is not lying about her Complaints.
Can I Cs reciprocate Aggrieved Harassed Woman's trust in IC and also realize her resilience? Quick disposal of SH Complaints in no way jeopardize I C 's duty to proceed with Inquiry in accordance with Twin Principles of Natural Justice and the Procedures prescribed for such Internal Inquiries.
From India, Delhi