NCW seeks review of workplace sexual harassment Act

NCW seeks review of workplace sexual harassment Act
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New Delhi: Lack of proper mechanism in monitoring of probe and implementation of the Act in cases of sexual harassment at workplace was one of the key issues discussed by the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Saturday here during a review meet held to fix flaws in the workplace sexual harassment Act.

Reviewing the law in force, a panel of experts remarked that the term "prevention" in the Act is not clear and raised the need to review issues of "false complaints", saying that most victims of sexual harassment at workplace would not have evidence in the form of records.

"Though the title of the Act is 'Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal), 2013', the law is not clear on prevention," the Commission said in its report shared with the press.

On the lack of oversight mechanism, it said: "There is no authority specified to inquire and inspect proper implementation of the Act as per the provisions and monitoring authority for sexual harassment at workplace in the corporate sector is not clearly defined in the Act."

The experts also recommended an e-portal where the details of all internal and local complaints committees can be registered, complete with their members' names and telephone numbers.

They also raised concerns over there being no clarification on victims' options for relief if they are not satisfied with the ICC/LCC inquiry.

"Monitoring and Appellate authority must be defined and established like a nodal agency," it suggested.

They recommended a time-bound inquiry and regular training of the committee members, and also advocated for spread of awareness about the Act in both organised and unorganised sectors.

Stressing the need to review the law, NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma said: "The NCW has noticed that the sexual harassment at workplace Act has many shortcomings and is not equipped to deal with the nature of sexual harassment complaints that have come to fore of late."

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