The Parliament of India passed the “Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act”for in the year 2013. The ACT provides for Protection against sexual harassment of women at workplace and for the Prevention and Redressal of complaints of sexual harassment and for the matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Educational institutions are also bound by the Supreme Court’s directive and the Act. The College is committed to creating and maintaining an environment which is free of all forms of gender violence, sexual harassment, and discrimination on the basis of sex/gender. Following this, the institute is committed to uphold the Constitutional mandate ensuring the above mentioned human rights of all those who fall within its jurisdiction. As directed by the act College has constituted a Committee called “Internal Complaint Committee of Sexual Harassment Prevention & Women’s Grievance Redresseal”.
The Internal Complaints Committee has been formed at Mannaniya college of Arts & Science, Pangode to address the issues under UGC (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of Sexual Harassment of Women Employees and Students in Higher Educational Institutions) Regulations, 2015.
The objectives of the Internal Complaint Committee to Prevent Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace are as follows:
- To develop a policy against sexual harassment of women in the College.
- To evolve a permanent mechanism for the prevention and Redressal of sexual Harassment cases and other acts of gender based violence at the Institute.
- To ensure the implementation of the policy in letter and spirit through proper reporting of the complaints and their follow-up procedures.
- To uphold the commitment of the College to provide an environment free of gender based discrimination.
- To create a secure physical and social environment to deter any act of sexual harassment.
- To promote a social and psychological environment to raise awareness on sexual harassment in its various forms.
On receipt of a complaint ICC shall conduct preliminary enquiry so as to ascertain the truth of the allegation by collecting the documentary evidence as well as recording statements of any possible witness including the complainant. ICC shall then submit the preliminary enquiry report to authority along with all original documents adduced during the preliminary enquiry proceedings. In case, the allegations are not in the nature of sexual harassment, ICC may refer such complaints to the Grievance Redressal cell or to the Principal.
Where sexual harassment occurs as a result of an act or omission by any third party or outsider, ICC shall take all steps necessary and reasonable to assist the affected person in terms of support and preventive action.
ICC shall comply with the procedure prescribed in the aforementioned UGC regulation 2015 and the sexual harassment act for inquiring into the complaint in a time bound manner.
If ICC concludes that the allegation made were false, malicious or the complaint was made knowing it to be untrue or forged or misleading information has been provides during the inquiry, the complainant shall be liable to be punished as per the relevant provision of the aforementioned UGC regulation 2015.
Who can approach ICC for help?
Any female (faculty, student, staff) of the college.
Definition of Sexual Harassment.
“Sexual harassment” includes any unwelcome sexually inclined behaviour, whether directly or indirectly, such as:
- Physical contact and advances
- Demand or request of sexual favours
- Sexually coloured remarks
- Showing any pornography, or
- Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
What are the possible actions that can be taken against the respondent?
- Written apology
- Adverse remarks in the confidential report
- Stopping of increment/promotion
- Any other relevant action
Do’s and Do Not’s
- Don’t feel a sense of shame. Tell the harasser very clearly that you find this behaviour offensive.
- Don’t ignore the harassment in the hope that it will stop on its own; come forward and complain.
- Talk to somebody you trust about the harassment. It will not only give you strength, but also help others to come forward and complain.
- Keep a detailed record of all incidents related to the sexual harassment. If you feel the need to register a formal complaint later, this record will be helpful.
Procedure for Registering Complaints
All complaints must be brought by the complainant in person to ICC.
If you think you are harassed or being harassed, what should you do?
Lodge a complaint through email or by a telephone call to any of the members of ICC
- The enquiry shall be completed within a period of ninety days from the date of the complaint.
- On completion of the enquiry, the ICC shall provide a report of its findings to the employer within a period of ten days from the date of completion of the inquiry and such report be made available to the concerned parties.
- If the allegations against the respondent have been proved, it shall recommend punitive actions to be taken against the respondent to the employer.
- The employer shall act upon the recommendation within sixty days of receiving it.