NEW DELHI: In a bid to make private companies compliant on laws against sexual harassment, the Woman and Child Development (WCD) Ministry is insisting that it should be made mandatory for such entities to give details in their annual reports of the complaints committee on sexual harassment set up by them.
Under the Sexual Harassment at Work Place Act of 2013, all companies are required to set up an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) to address cases of sexual harassment, if any.
In a letter written to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi said disclosures on the ICCs should be made mandatory under Companies Act, in the annual reports furnished by the companies.
However, Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley replied saying companies are against enhanced disclosures under Companies Act and that disclosures with respect to constitution of committees may be mandated through the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act itself.
Gandhi wrote back saying the sexual harassment act already provides for disclosure of information by the employer in their annual report. “You will appreciate that the information disclosed to almost 670 district officers of the country does not really amount to public disclosure, which is essential for implementation of the act,” the letter said, adding that “one of the most effective methods to achieve this is to proactively mandate disclosures through the Companies Act, 2013. I would beg to differ with the view that mandating this would add any burden on the companies”.
‘solid proof must in dowry deaths’
The Supreme Court has ruled that there must be a proximate and live link between dowry harassment of a woman and her unnatural death to establish that the offence was of dowry death.