Panel set up to prevent sexual harassment

Endowments dept forms 3-member internal compliance committee that will look into complaints across State

Published: 28th January 2023 06:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2023 06:52 AM   |  A+A-

Rape, sexual harassment

Image used for representational purpose. (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: In order to provide a safe working environment for women employees and address the complaints of sexual harassment, Endowments commissioner M Hari Jawaharlal formed an Internal Compliance Committee (ICC).

Endowments commissioner M Hari Jawaharlal said the committee, comprising three women members, will be looking after the complaints from the women employees working in the Endowments department in all the 26 districts across the State. The committee members will be operating from the headquarters in Vijayawada.

The commissioner said the committee was formed under rule 4(1) of sexual harassment of women at workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal ) Act, 2013. The decision was taken reportedly after a few employees lodged harassment complaints against three men recently.

The three officers --K Sobharani (gazetted superintendent in head office), S Venkata Lakshmi (gazetted superintendent in head office) and T Annapoorna (assistant commissioner and NTR district Endowments officer) --will act as members of the ad-hoc committee.

Similarly, the POSH Act, 2013 has the provision of establishing the committees to assist the aggrieved women or the victims of sexual harassment. Under Section 4 of the said Act, the employer of every organisation is ought to set up an ICC to address the complaints of sexual harassment and assist the victims to protect their dignity at the workplace.

“The Internal Complaints Committee is vested with all the necessary powers to undertake the functions of prohibition, prevention, and redressal of sexual harassment of women at the workplace. It has the power to collect the evidence and summon the witnesses. Furthermore, the ICC can also recommend measures
and actions to be taken in cases in the future,” said the commissioner.

The complainant is supposed to file the complaint in writing and submit the same before the ICC within three months of the date of the incident or the series of incidents in which the last one happened. “Filing of a written complaint is mandatory, which should include full name with other necessary details of the incident(s) of sexual harassment. If not the victim, her family members or a third person can also be the complainant provided that a written complaint must be filed by the one who has been subjected to sexual harassment,” he added.

Jawaharlal issued the orders to all regional joint commissioners, deputy commissioners and others to inform the same about the ICC and asked them to avail the services of the committee.


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