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SC expresses displeasure on failure by Centre, States to file response on compliance with PoSH Act

'Despite specific directions issued by this court's judgment dated 12th May, 2023, affidavits are still awaited from the Union of India, most of the State Governments/Union Territories as also from the other agencies,' said the bench.
shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 15:54 IST
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 15:54 IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has expressed its displeasure over the failure of the Centre and other state governments to apprise whether all ministries, departments and organisations have constituted statutory committees to deal with sexual harassment complaints as per mandate of the PoSH Act.

"Despite specific directions issued by this court's judgment dated 12th May, 2023, affidavits are still awaited from the Union of India, most of the State Governments/Union Territories as also from the other agencies. We may note that it is now almost a year since the said directions were issued by this Court for strict compliances," a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah said.

Considering the importance of the issue, the bench appointed Padma Priya to assist the court.

The bench issued directions to the Chief Secretaries of all the state governments and Union Territories and the secretaries of the concerned ministries of the Union of India who have not filed any affidavit so far, to complete the exercise as directed by this court and file appropriate affidavits within four weeks.

The court fixed the matter for consideration on July 9.

On May 12, 2023, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre, all state government, and Union Territories to verify in a time bound exercise whether all the concerned ministries, departments, government organizations, authorities, public sector undertakings, institutions, bodies, etc have constituted sexual harassment committees.

The court said it is disquieting to note that there are serious lapses in the enforcement of the 2013 Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Act even after such a long passage of time.

The court's judgment had come on a plea by Aureliano Fernandes, a former head of department at Goa University, against the Bombay High Court order, in connection with sexual harassment allegations against him.

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Published 17 April 2024, 15:54 IST

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