10 Mar Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act, 2013 : Role of Internal Committee at the Workplace
As per the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, the role of the Internal Committee (IC) is defined as below:
- Shall provide assistance to the victim to make the complaint in writing.
- Complaints need to be filed within 3 months from the last incident occurrence date. IC may extend the time limit by another 3 months.
- Before initiating an inquiry, at the request of the aggrieved woman, IC must take steps to settle the matter through conciliation.
- Shall recommend action during pendency of inquiry like granting leave or transferring either the victim or respondent.
- If IC arrives at the conclusion that the allegation against the respondent has not been proved, it shall recommend to the employer that no action is required.
- If IC arrives at the conclusion that the allegation against the respondent has been proved, it shall recommend to the employer:
o To take action for sexual harassment as a misconduct in accordance with the provisions of the service rules applicable to the respondent or where no such service rules have been made, in such manner as may be prescribed.
o To deduct, notwithstanding anything in the service rules applicable to the respondent, from the salary or wages of the respondent such sum as it may consider appropriate to be paid to the aggrieved woman or to her legal heirs.
- If Internal Committee arrives at a conclusion that the allegation against the respondent is malicious or the aggrieved woman or witness or any other person making the complaint has made the complaint knowing it to be false or has produced any forged or misleading document, IC may recommend to the employer or the District Officer, as the case may be, to take action in accordance with the provisions of the service rules or as may be prescribed.
- Shall record the settlement of an inquiry and forward to the employer to take action as per the recommendations.
- Shall share copies of settlement to the victim and respondent.
- Committee to submit annual report in each calendar year and prepare the cases received, disposed, pending and preventions measures during the year and submit the same to the employer and the District Officer.
- The role of the Committee will not be restricted to complaint resolution but will encompass prevention measures as well.