Skip to main content

Women's group demands action in sexual harassment case of a junior woman advocate in Vadodara court

By Our Representative
Well-known Vadodara-based women’s group Sahiyar has demanded urgent formation of Prevention of Sexual Harassment Committee in Vadodara district and sessions court, which, it said, has not been done despite the fact that several representations by “concerned lawyers and citizens” on the matter have been made. In a statement issued by Sahiyar, the NGO has said, not only should the committee be formed but its announcement should be placed at a place where people are able to see that such a committee exists in the court. The statement was made in the context of a case of sexual harassment of a junior advocate by a colleague.
“Sahiyar raised the issue in writing to the Vadodara district and sessions judge and president of the Bar Association first on October 5, 2013. The letter was based on the Supreme Court judgment in the Visakha vs State of Rajasthan and others, following which Parliament passed the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2913. Under the Act, such a committee has to be mandatorily formed at workplaces and educational institutes”, the statement said, adding, a second complaint was sent on November 25, 2013.
Pointing out that failure to form such a committee is the violation of Sections 14, 15 and 21 of the Act as also of basic human rights, the statement wondered, “If the courts themselves fail to implement the Act and form such committees, how does one expect them to provide justice to those who suffer from sexual harassment?”
Referring to the case of sexual harassment to a woman advocate, following which the victim filed a complaint against a male colleague September 13, 2013, the statement said, “As it was sexual harassment case, the victim filed a complaint in the Vadodara district court as well as the Bar Association”, the statement said, adding, “Following this, Sahiyar asked the court and the association to form a committee and take action against the person against whom the complaint was made. However, no step has so far been taken in that direction.”
“There is a need to campaign for the formation of such committee under the law everywhere. We plan to do it so that such committee is formed in different organizations of the Government of India, Government of Gujarat, industrial and commercial associations, professional bodies, educational institutions, trade unions and other places”, said the statement.
The Sahiyar letter to the court and the bar association, written by Trupti Shah and Rita Choksi, said, “The complaint by the woman advocate requires criminal proceedings against the male lawyer, whom she has accused of sexually assaulting her.” It also demanded formation an “internal complaint committee under section of the Act so that all women employees working in the court can feel safe.”
Even as demanding formation of such a committee immediately, the letter stressed, “It has been found that women find it extremely difficult to file a complaint of sexual harassment. This is the reason why the Supreme Court in its judgment wanted that women should be treated as equal before law, so that they can work without fear at the work place and made it mandatory to form the committee.”

Comments

TRENDING

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.