Prelims level : Governance Mains level : Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations
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Why in News:

  • The Justice S.A. Bobde in-house committee has found “no substance” in the sexual harassment allegations levelled by a former Supreme Court staff member against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.


  • As part of the in-house procedure, the report would not be placed in the public domain, the court added. The inquiry was by nature purely preliminary, ad hoc and only for the purpose of getting information. The report was “wholly confidential” and existed “only for the purpose of satisfaction that such a report has been made”.

What were the earlier Vishaka guidelines?

  • The Vishaka guidelines were laid down by the Supreme Court in Vishakha and others v State of Rajasthan judgment in 1997.
  • It imposes three key obligations on employing institutions – prohibition, prevention, and redress. The institutions are mandated to establish a Complaints Committee.
  • This was to look into matters of sexual harassment of women at the workplace. These guidelines are legally binding

Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace

  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Actwas passed in 2013. It broadens the Vishaka guidelines, which were already in place.
  • An aggrieved victim is a woman “of any age whether employed or not”, who “alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment”.
  • The Act thus covers the rights of all women working or visiting any workplace, in any capacity. Sexual harassment is any one or more of “unwelcome acts or behaviour”,committed directly or by implication. They include:
  • Physical contact & advances
  • A demand or request for sexual favours
  • Sexually coloured remarks, Showing pornography
  • Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature
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