Disclose Panels on Sexual Harassment

Prelims level : Mains level : Paper I: Role of Women and their Problems
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The Centre has made it mandatory for companies to disclose whether they have constituted an internal complaint committee (ICC) to probe such allegations.


  • The members of the committees and women employees remain unaware of the provisions of the act and hesitant to assert themselves in registering complaints or fighting for more women-friendly work structures.

Amendment to company (accounts) rules 2014:

  • The Corporate Affairs Ministry has amended the Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014, governed by the Companies Act, 2013, mandating the disclosure.
  • Under the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, it is mandatory for any organisation with 10 or more employees to constitute an ICC. An employer who doesn’t do so could face a fine of up to Rs. 50,000.
  • An ICC should consist of a presiding officer, who is a woman employee at a senior level in the same organisation, at least two employees “preferably committed to the cause of women”, and a member from an NGO or a person “familiar with issues relating to sexual harassment.”
  • The committee would have powers similar to those of a civil court and would have to complete its inquiry within 90 days.

Way Forward:

  • The complaint process is still ineffective in nature, a Complaint Committee was not constituted for the redressal of the complaint made by the victim.
  • Secondly, the risk of retaliation is high if a victim opposes the unwelcome sexual acts
  • Thirdly, there are several obstacles that the victim faces while filing a complaint which may include constituting internal committees, to unfair practices within committees and other incidental problems.
  • In order to ensure better implementation of the law against sexual harassment at workplace the implementation problems need to be addressed.
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