•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences

SC finally implements 16-year old Vishaka sexual harassment rules on home turf for lawyers

The Supreme Court yesterday framed guidelines to deal with sexual harassment on its premises, broadening the definition of sexual harassment to include “sending of undesirable sexually coloured text or voice messages or sexually explicit material to women advocates and also stalking”, reported the Times of India.

A Gender Sensitisation and Internal Complaints Committee (GSICC) headed by a sitting SC judge will hear complaints, and an advocate found guilty by the GSICC could be barred from entering the SC premises for up to a year, on top of potentially facing criminal charges.

A bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir, and justices AR Dave and Ranjana Prakash also asked the high courts to frame similar guidelines to protect female lawyers from sexual harassment at the bar.

Advocates Binu Tamta and Vibha Datta Makhija had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking framing of the guidelines after a Delhi high court employee was caught peeping into the court’s women’s toilet with his cellphone camera. Kabir had asked senior advocate Fali Nariman to head a committee to draft the guidelines.

The SC had provided for the mandatory formation of female-dominated sexual harassment committees in the workplace in 1997 with its landmark Vishaka judgment. However, the committees were for he benefit of “employees”, which technicality prevented women lawyers in courts from taking advantage of the ruling because lawyers are not employees of the court.

The seven-member committee that was set up by the apex court for drafting of the regulation had just two male members - Fali Nariman and Anand Grover. Other members were advocates Indu Malhotra, petitioners Makhija and Tamta, Meenakshi Arora and Asha Menon.

No comments yet: share your views