The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and Rules (2013) (hereinafter collectively referred to as “POSH laws”) comes in furtherance of the fundamental rights of the women aiming to provide a work environment free from the fear of harassment.
The Internal Complaints Committee (hereinafter referred to as the “ICC”) established by the employer/ establishment is the pivotal point for the women at their workplace ensuring prevention of incidents of sexual harassment and a suitable redressal mechanism to address the concerns which may arise in such a scenario.
Procedure to be followed
In order to undertake the inquiry of a matter pertaining to sexual harassment, the ICC may take following steps:
Receipt of Complaint
- The written complaint of the aggrieved women comprising of date of the incident, time of the incident, name of the accused party(ies) of the incident
The aforementioned complaint should be received within a period of
3 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.
- The ICC shall acknowledge the receipt of the compliant and ensure clarity and conformity of the allegations comprised therein.
- The complaint shall then be informed regarding the informal (settlement) and formal mechanism of redressal of the complaint.
Communication of the complaint to the accused
- Within 7 days of receiving a complaint, the ICC will inform the accused in writing that a complaint has been received.
- The accused will have an opportunity to respond to the complaint in writing within ten days therefrom.
Inquiry by ICC
- ICC shall summon and enforce the attendance of any person and examining witnesses on oath, requiring the discovery and production of documents;
- While exercising the principles of natural justice ICC shall record its finding and observations based on which it may submit its recommendations to the Employer for further action.