In India sexual harassment at work environment is one of the most widely
recognized violations against women and is likewise observed as illegal
encroaching on the central privileges of women. Now and then women speak loudly
against such unfairness however as a general rule it is covered with time. The
requirement for forestalling such treachery and suitably managing such cases.
The Sexual Harassment Act, 2013 was brought into power. The Act clarifies what
all can commensurate to sexual harassment and how work environments should be
proactive about guaranteeing that the secure the pride of a lady. The research
paper aims as an endeavor to clarify clearly the fringe of the act and how
associations to should act upon in ensuring and saving the respect of a woman in
The harsh reality is when one would read about the cases across India on sexual
harassment, he would get stunned, miserable, bewildered, unsettled and will feel
vulnerable simultaneously. From legal sectors, to police offices, to regarded
judges to emergency clinics to customary workplaces � women's respect has been
torn separated explicitly and straightforwardly at work environments in spite of
the fact that India has the most reduced proportion of working women in the
world. In the event that one needed to delve into insights one would discover,
assault in India is one of the most well-known violations against women.
According to ongoing statistics, 93 assaults are announced each and every day in
India. And only 27% of the denounced are sentenced. The system for managing lewd
behavior was first spelt out in 1997 in the purported Vishakha Guidelines. It
was first if there should be an occurrence of Vishakha and Others v. Province of
Rajasthan and Others, that Supreme Court pronounced inappropriate behavior at
working environment to be unlawful.
It was in the decision unexpectedly, inappropriate behavior at working
environment perceived as a violation of human rights. The Supreme Court laid out
the rules making it obligatory for the business to accommodate a component on
sex equality. Sexual harassment is viewed as violation of Article 14, 15,
19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution of India.
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013
The Act finally came into power after 16 years of struggle. The act aims to
protect woman against sexual harassment at work place in India. The act clearly
states in few of it�s opening lines:
�Sexual harassment is a woman�s fundamental right to equality.. her right to
life and to live with dignity�and right to practice any profession or to carry
on any occupation, trade or business which includes a right to a safe
environment free from sexual harassment.�
The Act makes it compulsory for every office with 10 or more employees to have
an internal complain committee for grievance redressal. The Act is not gender
neutral. It provides exclusive protection only to women employees. The scope of
the Act includes organised as well as unorganized sector, not only for the women
working in organizations or but also as domestic help. The definition of
workplace includes expanded workplace.
As per the provisions of Section 2(n) of the Act, Sexual harassment includes:
- Physical contact or advances
- Demand or request for sexual favors
- Making sexually colored remarks
- Showing pornography
- Unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
The definition of workplace states any place visited by the employee coming out
of or during the course of employment including transportation provided by the
employer for undertaking such journey which initially did not cover women in the
armed forces and excluded women agricultural workers, referred as "a gross
injustice to agricultural workers who are the single largest female component of
work force in the country.
� By a CPI (M) MP at Rajyasabha. However, the final
bill included the clause "No woman shall be subjected to sexual harassment at
any workplace" (clause 3.1)
Roles and responsibilities of the employer
The roles and responsibilities laid down under the Act have been listed down
- Section 4 � employer, by order in writing, constitute a Committee called
Internal Complaints Committee and including at such places where there are
offices or administrative units of the workplace.
- Section 11(3) - vests similar powers to the committee as are vested in
the civil courts under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 when trying a suit
with respect to the following matters:
- Summoning or enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on
- Requiring the discovery and production of documents.
- Section 19 also talks about the duties of the employer.
Non Compliance of the Act
The employer shall be punishable with a fine which may extend up to Rs. 50,000
when he fails to constitute an Internal Committee or fails to take action under
the Act. Offences under this section are non-cognizable. It may lead to
cancellation of license required for carrying out business activity or
imposition of twice the punishment from that imposed in the first instance when
an employer is twice convicted for an offence punishable under this Act. All
complaints are to be disposed of within a period of 90 days from the date of
intimation, failing which penalty will be imposed on the organization and
repeated non-compliance can lead to cancellation of license or registration of
The lacuna in the Act
The researcher has certain views on the various lacunae identified in the act
and suggestions so that the act could be properly implemented in addressing the
issues of sexual harassment of women at all kinds of workplaces in the
country. One of such lacuna in the act is it�s not so clear words on
"prevention" and no such authority to guarantee a proper functioning for
monitoring its implementation. These could be recognized as some of the key
Also, the composition of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) seems
inappropriate. For an instance, "Options available to the victim, if she is not
satisfied with the process of inquiry and report by the ICC is not clearly
defined in the act. Monitoring authority and appellate authority must be defined
and established, like a nodal agency."One other loophole in the act that
could be seen is that it does not protect men. It is based on the premise that
only female employees needed to be safeguarded when gender should not be a
The act was very important considering the rapid increase in the number of
crimes against women in the last decade. One cannot predict whether the number
of crimes against women will come under a review but one thing that we are, at
least, sure of is � it will work to improve awareness about the obligations of
employers and rights of employees in case of an offence of sexual harassment at
workplace. We can pray with this new law in existence, the large number of
offences against the women, which mostly remains silent, will decrease in time
- http://crowdvoice.org/sexual-assault-in-india accessed on 29th October,
- https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1031794/ accessed on 29th October, 2020.
- The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013
- The Hindu Parliament passes Bill to prevent sexual harassment at
workplace accessed on 30st October, 2020
- Chandran, Cynthia (20 June 2012). "Women's Protection Bill needs more
teeth". Deccan Chronicle. Accessed on 1st November, 2020.
accessed on 30st October, 2020.