Facts Of The Case
This particular case was a writ petition which was filed and it challenged the
actions of the Internal Complaints Committee of a Particular Institution to
acknowledge a complaint under the Act as without jurisdiction on the ground that
both the complainant and the respondent of this particular case had belongs to
the same gender.
Dr.Malabika Bhattacharjee (Petitioners) v/s.
Internal Complaints Committee The Vivekananda College (Respondents)
Issues Of The Case
The question of gender equality secures primary in deciding whether a complaint
or grievance falls inside the periphery of the Sexual Harassment of Women at
Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013. In this particular
case, since the sex of the complainant and the respondent is the same, the
question of the particular act is invoked.
Contentions Of The Parties
The Petitioner submits before Court that the Act as claimed, couldn't fall
inside the domain or purview of Sexual harassment as contemplated in the Sexual
Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act,
Further, the petitioner places specific reliance on the meaning of Sexual
Harassment in Section 2(n) of the particular Act and looks to put forth for the
Court that the acts contemplated in that have no nexus or link with the current
Respondent contended before the High Court of Calcutta, that being based on the
University Grants Commission Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of Sexual
Harassment of Women, Employees, and Students in the Higher Educational
Institutions Regulations, 2015 and contended that the said Regulations are
adequately wide and broad to encompass respondents, every gender being equal,
verifiably implying that the sex of the complainant and the respondents can be
the same to attract the rigors of the Regulations, which governs the present
parties of this particular case also.
Observations By The Court
The Calcutta High Court observed that the complaints which are related to
Same-Gender Sexual Harassment are maintainable under the Prevention of Sexual
Harassment Act as High Court also stated that any person irrespective of its
gender can be threatened by Sexual Harassment of a person who belongs to the
same sex or gender so this particular act Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act
2013 can maintain the modesty and dignity of any victim or suffered irrespective
of their gender
The Court additionally stated: If Section 3(2) is investigated, it is seen that
the act contemplated in that particular section can be executed or perpetrated
by the members of any gender interse.
The Court dismissed the writ petition and further saw that the meaning of Sexual
Harassment in Section 2(n) can't be a static concept yet it must be interpreted
against the backdrop of the social perspective.
Written By Gaurav Purohit