NEW DELHI: Giving more teeth to the National Commission for Women is back on Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi’s agenda despite the proposal being turned down by the Prime Minister’s Office twice. Her Ministry will again push for revamping the NCW Act at the first meeting of the group of ministers led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The GoM was formed last month to take a relook at laws against sexual harassment at the workplace in the wake of the #MeToo movement. The meeting is scheduled for December 10.WCD Ministry sources said significant amendments were being proposed in the NCW Act as the commission, in its present form, had not been able to play the desired role.
“The panel gets all kinds of complaints from women, from inaction in rape cases to denial of maternity benefits. But other than hearing the cases and recommending action by concerned officials, the commission does not have much powers to do anything,” an official said.
Sources said the WCD Ministry had in 2014 and 2015 proposed that the NCW be given powers of a civil court and get somebody arrested if the person did not appear before it despite summons.The changes it has proposed will enable the commission to conduct judicial proceedings and issue warrants. The Law Ministry had objected to the proposal.