CAT finds illegality in law against sexual harassment at workplace

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When the Work Place harassment law was formed, Save Family Foundation specially suggested needing of un-biased committee members along with need of Gender Natural Workplace harassment law like all over world have as the work place harassment is not a gender issue at all:

Refer Suggestion # 5

Instead of being gender biased and committed to the “cause of women”, the appointment of the Committee Chairperson and members should be on the basis of their integrity and their judicious approach. All appointments should be transparent.

But all ignored SFF caution and today we are paying the price by all which we witness in recent news: CAT finds illegality in law against sexual harassment at workplace




Recommends that the Union government take corrective measures

The manner of appointing members to the internal committees to probe complaints under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, has been termed “unconstitutional” by the Central Administrative Tribunal’s (CAT) Bangalore Bench.

The tribunal said the appointment process was “biased” as two members of such committees should be “committed to the cause of women,” and hence “destroys the concept of fairness” embedded in the process of adjudication.

However, as tribunals have no power to strike down the law, it has recommended to the Union government to look into Sections 4 and 7 of the Act, under which committees are constituted to hear complaints of sexual harassments, and take corrective steps in compliance with the Constitution of India.

“If members of the adjudicatory committee are to be committed to an ideology [cause of women], their mental frame will be such that it would give an opportunity for unwelcome bias and their finding also will be in resonance of their personal commitment,” said a Bench comprising judicial member K.B. Suresh (as he then was) and administrative member P.K. Pradhan last week.

“Sections 4 and 7 of the Act can be termed unconstitutional because once an adjudicatory body is to be determined as slanted in its sway, it destroys the fairness concept embedded in adjudication,” said the Bench while dealing with four cases of dismissal of employees from service by different government agencies based on the findings of committees on sexual harassment.

Erroneous

The tribunal said that in all the four cases — related to KIOCL Ltd., National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Employees State Insurance Corporation, and the Department of Posts — the employees were erroneously found “guilty.”

In one of the cases, the complainant had not even alleged sexual harassment, and in another, a whistleblower was “targeted” through a few women employees to eliminate him from service, the tribunal said while pointing at a series of flaws in the conduct of inquiry proceedings and failure to give chance of cross examination to the accused employees.

Apparently, the climate of fear, caused due to public outcry on several incidents of assault on women, had created a “terror situation’ among senior echelons of administrative authorities of these agencies, leading to the dismissal of employees, the tribunal said.


Save Family Foundation along with all their associated NGO once again request Government to form a immediate Task force and amend the existing Workplace Harassment law to a Gender Neutral Law like all over world followed.

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