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  • The Bombay High Court's recommendations in cases under the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment (POSH) Act have been challenged in the Supreme Court.
  • Since It includes a blanket prohibition on parties and advocates sharing documents with the media, including orders and judgments.


  • The petition contended that the ruling of a Single Bench of the High Court constituted a ""death blow"" to Article 19's guarantee of freedom of speech and expression.
  • The right to free expression to be curtailed only if it interferes with the administration of justice.
  • Any restriction on people's right to know genuine and accurate facts is a violation of their right to information.

Provisions of the POSH Act

  • In India, the Act applies to both the organized and unorganized sectors.
  • All government entities, private and public sector organizations, non-governmental organizations, commercial, vocational, educational, entertainment, industrial, financial, and healthcare organizations, among others, were subject to the law.
  • The Act's most notable aspect is that it calls for the establishment of an Internal Allegations Committee at every office of a company or organization with more than 10 workers to hear and resolve sexual harassment complaints.
  • The name of the aggrieved lady, respondent, witnesses, the substance of the complaint, inquiry processes, or committee recommendations are all prohibited from being made public, with the exception of information on the justice received by any victim of sexual harassment.

Conditions for filing a complaint?

  • Cases involving employees from the same company
  • Cases involving third-party harassment, which refers to harassment perpetrated by someone other than the victim.

Current situation

  • As per Data provided by The Ministry of Women and Child Development between 2015 and 2017, 1631 incidents of sexual harassment of women at work (prevention, prohibition, and redressal) were submitted under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Work (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013.
  • There is significant variance across states. Uttar Pradesh accounted for roughly a quarter of all cases, with Delhi coming in second (16 percent ).
  • In 2017, the Indian National Bar Association polled nearly 6,000 workers.
  • According to the report Sexual harassment is prevalent across several employment areas.
  • They also discovered that the harassment ranges from crude remarks to direct requests for sexual favors.

The Sexual Harassment of Women (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013

  • According to the law, sexual harassment at work may occur or be present if the following factors occur or are present in regard to, or related with, any act or behavior of sexual harassment:
  • Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her job; or
  • Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her job; or
  • Implied or explicit threat of adverse treatment in her job; or
  • Implied or explicit threat about her current or future employment status; or
  • Interference with her work or creating an intimidating, offensive, or
  • Hostile work environment for her; or Humiliating treatment likely to harm her health or safety.

Impacts of Sexual harassment

  • Emotional Well-being: Sexual harassment can have a negative impact on a victim's emotional and mental health. It can lead to a loss of self-esteem and even put personal relationships in jeopardy. It can also generate a lot of tension and anxiety.
  • Physical Health: Loss of appetite, headaches, weight changes, and sleep difficulties are all common symptoms of poor emotional health.
  • Financial Issues: Sexual harassment usually results in financial difficulties. Victims may also face longer-term professional consequences, such as the loss of references. Women may even choose to leave their jobs to avoid working in a hostile setting.

Issues with the Act

  • The Act does not apply to women who work as agricultural laborers or in the military forces. These are predominantly male-dominated fields.
  • Not Gender Neutral: The legislation ignores sexual harassment experienced by males, transgender, and transsexual people.
  • Noncompliance: Many private companies lack an internal committee (ICC) to investigate accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Problems with the ICC: The majority of the committees are devoid of members who are knowledgeable with the legal complexities involved in conducting the investigation, including cross-examinations and their significance.
  • Victimization: Common in cases of sexual harassment, particularly when a woman files a complaint against a superior. The Act is silent on victimization and has no preventative or remedial procedures.

Way forward

  • Creating and monitoring effective IC and LC functioning.
  • Conduct inspections and discipline personnel who fail to follow directives.
  • Ensure victims' rights to a fair hearing and remedy.
  • Ensure that there is a transparent complaint process in place, as well as suitable compensation for victims.
  • The number of sexual harassment claims submitted and handled by the committees should be published on an annual basis.
  • Ratify and enforce the International Labour Organization's (ILO) convention on violence and harassment.