Govt to introduce bill against sexual harassment

Last Updated 05 July 2010, 11:58 IST

"We are expecting to table the bill in the coming monsoon session. The draft of the bill is ready and is in the final stage of consultations," Tirath told IANS here.

The minister said that the legislation will put pressure on the private sector, which has so far not been prompt in taking steps to check harassment of women workers.
It also includes a clause which brings students, research scholars, patients and women in the unorganised sector within the ambit of the proposed law.

"Many private organisations still don't have a committee for addressing the grievances of women in sexual harassment cases. The proposed law will see that a committee headed by a women is present in every firm to address such cases," she said.
"A penalty will be imposed on those who fail to follow the guidelines. If private organisations don't meet the rules strict action will be taken against them," Tirath added.
According to ministry officials, the legislation has been sent for consultations to all stakeholders.

"Once the draft is cleared by the stakeholders in other ministries and departments it will be sent to the cabinet for approval," an official said.
The bill envisages that every workplace, whether in the organised or the unorganised sector, should have a forum to take up complaints pertaining to sexual harassment.
In the case of the organised sector, there will be internal complaint committees, in the absence of which a penalty, including deregistration of the institutions or a fine of Rs.50,000 for first offence, will be imposed.
The monsoon session of the parliament will start July 26.

(Published 05 July 2010, 11:58 IST)

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