Millennium Post

Apex court to consider draft rules on sexual harassment

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to constitute a committee headed by an eminent jurist to finalise the draft rules for dealing with sexual harassment complaints of women, including lady lawyers, working at the apex court.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, said the name of the chairman of the Committee, which will also go into various other issues raised in the report prepared on its order, would be decided on Thursday.

A report placed on Tuesday before the bench said the sexual harassment complaint committees at various high courts and district courts across the country existed only on paper without much power or guidelines and there is a lack of space for their working.

The report was prepared by Asha Menon, Member Secretary, National Legal Services Authority, who was asked by the apex court on March 21 to provide data on the establishment of committees constituted in different courts across the country as per the Vishaka judgement dealing with the issues of sexual harassment of women at workplace.

‘The picture that emerges from this report is that the committees are only on paper,’ advocate Binu Tamta told the bench, also comprising justices A R Dave and Ranjana Prakash Desai.

Tamta, who filed the petition on the issue along with another lady advocate Vibha Dutta Makhija, said the report is clear that ‘there is a need to have rules to empower the committee’.

Makhija said they have prepared the draft rules which can be considered by the committee to be appointed by the apex court.
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