Sexual Harassment at Workplace in India and Need for Speedy Redressal of Complaints

Kushagra Sharma
Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed To Be University), New Law College, Pune, Maharashtra, India.

Volume III, Issue VI, 2020

The achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace is hindered by the inhuman act of violence against women. The physical, sexual and mental torture against women detaches them from exercising their full potential. The concept of sexual harassment is an area of great concern. The act of sexual harassment abridges and violates the fundamental rights of a woman guaranteed under Article 14, 15 and 21 of Part III of the Constitution of India. The Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to which India is a signatory since 1993, mandates the State Parties under Article 11 of the Convention to take necessary steps in eliminating discrimination against women in employment. India’s obligation towards International Organisations like CEDAW, ICESCE, ILO & Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The current paper highlights the incidents of sexual harassment from Bhanwari Devi’s case in 1992 which made the Hon’ble Supreme Court to lay down the guidelines in 1997 in Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan. The Court also made sure that these guidelines should be implemented both in letter and in spirit. The paper has highlight the data of sexual harassment of the past few years released by various sources like National Commission for Women (NCW) and National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The paper has also listed provisions of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2012 which was passed in 2013. Another important part mentioned is the recommendations made by the Justice J.S. Verma Committee report which pointed out the deficiencies in the Bill and improper implantation of Vishakha’s case guidelines.

Keywords: Sexual Harassment, workplace, violence, gender equality, women, discrimination, Vishakha.