Saturday, 25 April 2020

Important provisions of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013

[Act 14 of 2013 as amended up to Act 23 of 2016]
Chapter I
PRELIMINARY
1. Short title, extent and commencement.—(1) This Act may be called the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
(2) It extends to the whole of India.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
2. Definitions.—In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—
(a) “aggrieved woman” means—
(i) in relation to a workplace, a woman, of any age, whether employed or not, who alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment by the respondent;
(ii) in relation to a dwelling place or house, a woman of any age who is employed in such a dwelling place or house;

(e) “domestic worker” means a woman who is employed to do the household work in any household for remuneration whether in cash or kind, either directly or through any agency on a temporary, permanent, part time or full time basis, but does not include any member of the family of the employer;
(f) “employee” means a person employed at a workplace for any work on regular, temporary, ad hoc or daily wage basis, either directly or through an agent, including a contractor, with or, without the knowledge of the principal employer, whether for remuneration or not, or working on a voluntary basis or otherwise, whether the terms of employment are express or implied and includes a co-worker, a contract worker, probationer, trainee, apprentice or called by any other such name;
(m) “respondent” means a person against whom the aggrieved woman has made a complaint under Section 9;
3. Prevention of sexual harassment.—(1) No woman shall be subjected to sexual harassment at any workplace.
(2) The following circumstances, among other circumstances, if it occurs or is present in relation to or connected with any act or behaviour of sexual harassment may amount to sexual harassment—
(i) implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her employment; or
(ii) implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in her employment; or
(iii) implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status; or
(iv) interference with her work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment for her; or
(v) humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety.
Chapter II
CONSTITUTION OF INTERNAL COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE
4. Constitution of Internal Complaints Committee.—(1) Every employer of a workplace shall, by an order in writing, constitute a Committee to be known as the “Internal Complaints Committee”:
5. Notification of District Officer.—The appropriate Government may notify a District Magistrate or Additional District Magistrate or the Collector or Deputy Collector as a District Officer for every District to exercise powers or discharge functions under this Act.
6. Constitution and jurisdiction of 3[Local Committee].—(1) Every District Officer shall constitute in the district concerned, a committee to be known as the “4[Local Committee]” to receive complaints of sexual harassment from establishments where the 5[Internal Committee] has not been constituted due to having less than ten workers or if the complaint is against the employer himself.
7. Composition, tenure and other terms and conditions of 8[Local Committee].
8. Grants and audit.—
9. Complaint of sexual harassment.—(1) Any aggrieved woman may make, in writing, a complaint of sexual harassment at workplace to the Internal Committee if so constituted, or the Local Committee, in case it is not so constituted, within a period of three months from the date of incident and in case of a series of incidents, within a period of three months from the date of last incident:
10. Conciliation.—(1) The Internal Committee or, as the case may be, the Local Committee, may, before initiating an inquiry under Section 11 and at the request of the aggrieved woman take steps to settle the matter between her and the respondent through conciliation:
Provided that no monetary settlement shall be made as a basis of conciliation.
(2) Where a settlement has been arrived at under sub-section (1), the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, shall record the settlement so arrived and forward the same to the employer or the District Officer to take action as specified in the recommendation.
(3) The Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, shall provide the copies of the settlement as recorded under sub-section (2) to the aggrieved woman and the respondent.
(4) Where a settlement is arrived at under sub-section (1), no further inquiry shall be conducted by the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be.
11. Inquiry into complaint.—(1) Subject to the provisions of Section 10, the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, shall, where the respondent is an employee, proceed to make inquiry into the complaint in accordance with the provisions of the service rules applicable to the respondent and where no such rules exist, in such manner as may be prescribed or in case of a domestic worker, the Local Committee shall, if prima facie case exist, forward the complaint to the police, within a period of seven days for registering the case under Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), and any other relevant provisions of the said Code where applicable:
(3) For the purpose of making an inquiry under sub-section (1), the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, shall have the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) when trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely—
(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(b) requiring the discovery and production of documents; and
(c) any other matter which may be prescribed.
(4) The inquiry under sub-section (1) shall be completed within a period of ninety days.
12. Action during pendency of inquiry.—(1) During the pendency of an inquiry, on a written request made by the aggrieved woman, the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, may recommend to the employer to—
(a) transfer the aggrieved woman or the respondent to any other workplace; or
(b) grant leave to the aggrieved woman up to a period of three months; or
(c) grant such other relief to the aggrieved woman as may be prescribed.
(2) The leave granted to the aggrieved woman under this section shall be in addition to the leave she would be otherwise entitled.
(3) On the recommendation of the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, under sub-section (1), the employer shall implement the recommendations made under sub-section (1) and send the report of such implementation to the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be.
13. Inquiry report.—(1) On the completion of an inquiry under this Act, the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, shall provide a report of its findings to the employer, or as the case may be, the District Officer within a period of ten days from the date of completion of the inquiry and such report be made available to the concerned parties.
(2) Where the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, arrives at the conclusion that the allegation against the respondent has not been proved, it shall recommend to the employer and the District Officer that no action is required to be taken in the matter.
(3) Where the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, arrives at the conclusion that the allegation against the respondent has been proved, it shall recommend to the employer or the District Officer, as the case may be—
(i) to take action for sexual harassment as a misconduct in accordance with the provisions of the service rules applicable to the respondent or where no such service rules have been made, in such manner as may be prescribed;
(ii) to deduct, notwithstanding anything in the service rules applicable to the respondent, from the salary or wages of the respondent such sum as it may consider appropriate to be paid to the aggrieved woman or to her legal heirs, as it may determine, in accordance with the provisions of Section 15:
Provided that in case the employer is unable to make such deduction from the salary of the respondent due to his being absent from duty or cessation of employment it may direct to the respondent to pay such sum to the aggrieved woman:
Provided further that in case the respondent fails to pay the sum referred to in clause (ii), the Internal Committee or, as the case may be, the Local Committee may forward the order for recovery of the sum as an arrear of land revenue to the concerned District Officer.
(4) The employer or the District Officer shall act upon the recommendation within sixty days of its receipt by him.
14. Punishment for false or malicious complaint and false evidence.
15. Determination of compensation.—For the purpose of determining the sums to be paid to the aggrieved woman under clause (ii) of sub-section (3) of Section 13, the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, shall have regard to—
(a) the mental trauma, pain, suffering and emotional distress caused to the aggrieved woman;
(b) the loss in the career opportunity due to the incident of sexual harassment;
(c) medical expenses incurred by the victim for physical or psychiatric treatment;
(d) the income and financial status of the respondent;
(e) feasibility of such payment in lump sum or in instalments.
16. Prohibition of publication or making known contents of complaint and inquiry proceedings.
17. Penalty for publication or making known contents of complaint and inquiry proceedings.—
18. Appeal.—(1) Any person aggrieved from the recommendations made under sub-section (2) of Section 13 or under clause (i) or clause (ii) of sub-section (3) of Section 13 or sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of Section 14 or Section 17 or non-implementation of such recommendations may prefer an appeal to the court or tribunal in accordance with the provisions of the service rules applicable to the said person or where no such service rules exist then, without prejudice to provisions contained in any other law for the time being in force, the person aggrieved may prefer an appeal in such manner as may be prescribed.
(2) The appeal under sub-section (1) shall be preferred within a period of ninety days of the recommendations.
19. Duties of employer.
20. Duties and powers of District Officer.
21. Committee to submit annual report.
22. Employer to include information in annual report.—
23. Appropriate Government to monitor implementation and maintain data.
24. Appropriate Government to take measures to publicise the Act.
25. Power to call for information and inspection of records.—
26. Penalty for non-compliance with provisions of Act.—(1) Where the employer fails to—
(a) constitute an Internal Committee under sub-section (1) of Section 4;
(b) take action under Sections 13, 14 and 22; and
(c) contravenes or attempts to contravene or abets contravention of other provisions of this Act or any rules made thereunder,
he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees.
27. Cognizance of offence by courts.—(1) No court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act or any rules made thereunder, save on a complaint made by the aggrieved woman or any person authorised by the Internal Committee or Local Committee in this behalf.
(2) No court inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence punishable under this Act.
(3) Every offence under this Act shall be non-cognizable.
28. Act not in derogation of any other law.—The provisions of this Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force.
29. Power of appropriate Government to make rules.
Print Page

No comments:

Post a comment