Saturday, March 23, 2013


Introduced in Lok Sabha Dec 07, 2010
Passed by Lok Sabha 2012-13
Passed by Rajya Sabha Feb 26, 2013

Bill Text download here
  1. The Bill defines sexual harassment at work place
    • un-welcome sexual behaviour such as 
      • physical contact, 
      • request for sexual favours, 
      • sexually coloured remarks(pranks,etc.), 
      • screening of pornography etc.
  2. The Bill prohibits
    • promise of preferential treatment
    • threat of detrimental treatment
    • hostile work environment
    • humiliating conduct - health or safety problems
  3. The Bill also defines workplace as
    • all organizations
    • any place visited by an employee
    • domestic worker working at home
      • earlier it was not included in Bill but after standing committee report it was added to the Bill
  4. Redressal Structure
    • The Bill has provisions of proper committee at all levels for complaint redressals
    • It has guidelines of creation of following authority/ Committee
      • ICC ( Internal Complaints Committee )
      • LCC (Local Complaints Committee ) at District and Block Levels, facilitated and monitored by DM
  5. Internal Complaints Committee
    • Any Employer which has more than 10 employees have to create an ICC
    • Its members
      • mostly women ( >50%)
      • NGO, for women cause, as member
  6. Local Complaints Committee
    • Local at District level and block level (if required)
  7. Complaint Procedure
    • aggrieved women has to reach out to ICC
    • If ICC is not there in the organisation then to LCC
    • Complaints must be given in writing
    • Committee will enquire into the complaint
    • Committee can allow conciliation if requested by the complainant (but it can not be financial)
    • ICC and LCC has the power of civil courts (it can investigate and gather evidences)
  8. Penalties and Appeal
    • If proved then penalties as per service rule
    • If proved false then action against complainant (even upto fine)
    • Penalties for employer if fails to comply with this Act
      • fine upto INR 50,000
      • repeated violation can lead to cancellation of the licence
  • Feasibility
    • constitution of ICC at all centres with Employee strength > 10 is very difficult
    • NGOs representation is another problem because it will incur additional cost for the company
  • Power of civil courts
    • members of ICC and LCC willn ot have legal knowledge so its like giving gun to blind
  • Lack of proper demarcation of power of ICC and LCC
  • scope of misuse such as false or malicious complaints
  • fear among women of punishment if complaints proved wrong due to lack of evidence

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