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Women salute bill to curb stalkers at work


In a few months it may become difficult for organisations if they do not set up a sexual harassment complaint committee comprising mainly of women. A recent Bill cleared by the law ministry and soon to be discussed in the cabinet meeting proposes the idea of a must-have sexual harassment committee within every organisation, failing which, the organisations would be penalised.

And after the alleged case of sexual harassment by David Davidar of a former colleague Lisa Rundle, many, especially women are appreciating the move. Although Apeksha Sharma, an executive with an MNC, thinks it’s a good idea, she expresses her doubts as well.
“Just setting up a committee within every organisation is not enough to curb the problem of sexual harassment,” she says, talking about one of her colleagues, who was being harassed by a senior for months and who later lodged a complaint against him.
“She tolerated lewd comments and offensive behaviour for more than six months. But when it started affecting her relationship with her boyfriend, she lodged a complaint with the HR department. After finding it genuine, the department terminated the accused, but it gave no respite to the girl. Very soon he started calling and threatening her,” shares Apeksha.
There are many like Apeksha, who support the move, but also think that proper law and order should be in place to stop sexual harassment.
Apeksha says that her colleague is scared of coming out of her house alone. “She comes to office with a family member. Goes back with one and waits till the time she has someone for company,” she says.
Puja Sinha, a banker, agrees and shares a similar case. “But you can’t really help the girl if the case has gone this far. It’s only the police and law makers, who can assist. I don’t think the proposed committee can help,” she says.
Piyush Pushpak, who works as a corporate manager in a mall, believes that the government should not get involved in this. “Every good organisation has well established units to take care of different things. Even sexual harassment is being addressed. If a sexual harassment committee is not in place, there’s an HR department that looks into these matters,” he says.
Piyush also questions the action taken against false complaints.
“Quite often there are false complaints made by women, who don’t get what they wanted to in lieu of their sexual encounters,” remarks Piyush, who says even if such a committee is set up, it should have equal number of men and women so that the decision is neutral.

Categories: Other news
  1. July 21, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Is there any provision in the bill against its misuse?
    What is the punishment to the women whose allegations are found false upon trial? Competant authorities should become human before finalising it. It should not pass as such if clumsily drafted bye passing human rights of men and forgotten women, as is happening in case of PWDVA,2006 and 498A which are being misused at large to settle the personal scores and spreading “legal terrorism”. The trap diggers too faals in those traps. Jai Hind.

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