The Central Government was forced to enact new and harsher law against rape, exploitation of women by various means and ways as fallout of nation-wide protests against Delhi bus gang-rape. The Government issued directives on April 23 for setting up of “Internal Complaints Redressal Committees” for resolving exploitation of women at working places. However, the directives could neither be implemented due to lack of awareness nor efforts were made to inform the people about the measure.
The Delhi bus gang-rape victim “Nirbhaya” or “Damini” woke up the nation and united the 120 crore population, and also forced the Central Government enact new and harsher law against rape, exploitation of women by various means and ways. And now, journalist Tarun Tejpal , Justice Ganguli and hundreds of others alike, have jeopardized security of women at their working places. The Central Government, taking the serious note of immoral behaviour by men towards womenfolk at working places, had directed setting up of “Internal Complaints Redressal Committees” on April 23 last year for resolving misbehaviour with women then and there only. However, the directives could neither be implemented due to lack of awareness nor efforts were made to inform the people about the measure.
DECISION AT PRELIMINARY LEVEL:
The main aim of establishment of “Internal Complaints Redressal Committee” was to decide the complaints of women at working places at the preliminary level itself. The victimized women could approach police station or courts in the event of no justice from the Committee. The Government had directed to set up Committees on Internal and District levels for providing security to women at working places. Both Committees would have tenure of three years. And if such Committee does not exist in any establishment, it is mandatory for such establishment to set up the Committee within three months of a woman’s complaint. However, the Committee has no powers to decide on money matters.
In accordance with the law, forming of “Internal Complaints Redressal Committee” is mandatory whether the establishment is Government or private where womenfolk have been employed. The higher ranked woman should be the head of the Committee and even a woman working in different office could head the Committee. The Committee must comprise two employees having knowledge of laws and social worker as members of the Committee. The number of members could vary according to total employees but 50 per cent members should be women themselves.
• Committee can register an FIR under Section 501 of the IPC.
• The complaint could go to court if the Committee’s decision is not implemented.
• The accused could be transferred to other place on the submission of victim or a satisfactory decision could be taken according to the demand of the victim woman.
• No information could be sought about the victim woman under RTI.
• Direct or indirect immoral behaviour.
• Physical contact or dirty gesture, signal.
• Demand or urge for sexual contact.
• Sexual taunting.
• Showing porn films
COMMITTEE ON DISTRICT-LEVEL MANDATORY:
The constitution of District-level ‘Complaints Redressal Committee has been made mandatory. The District Judge, Additional District Judge, District Collector, Deputy District Collector can form the Committee at District-level. A woman social worker would head the Committee and a high-ranking Tehsil-level woman and two members of an NGO would comprise the Committee. The District Women and Children Welfare Officer will also be the member of the Committee.
The noted Chartered Accountant and Tax Consultant B C Bhartia said, “This law is very effective for providing security to working women. Various complaints of women could be resolved at local level. People must become sensitive towards exploitation of women at working places.”