CHENNAI: To make public transport safer for women, the State government has amended the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, and made it part of conductors’ duties to alight any male passenger or hand him over to a police station en route if he misbehaves with women. It also prevents the conductors from making inappropriate remarks and making sexual overtures.
The amended rules cover any obscene acts like staring, leering, whistling, winking, sexually offensive gestures or singing songs, apart from taking photos or videos or any other form of electronic communication, causing annoyance or harassment of a women passenger or girl or indulging in any other form of misbehaviour or attempt to do so with an intent to outrage the modesty of the women passengers travelling in the vehicle. In such cases, the conductor may, after reasonable caution, either alight the passenger or hand him over to the police.
It also stated that the conductors shall not, save for good and sufficient reasons, touch any female passenger on the pretext that he is assisting her to get into or getting down the vehicle as well as ask any inappropriate questions about the intention of their travel. He also should not make any physical contact or any sexually coloured remarks or comments or jokes advancing towards woman passengers or girls involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures, such as touching or pinching to indicate his sexually suggestive innuendos, the rules stated.
The conductors may remove any male passenger from the seat he occupies and ask him to alight the vehicle en route, if he comes to know on a proper enquiry with other co-passengers that the passenger was involved in unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures as defined under the term ‘sexual harassment in clause (n) of Section 2 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. He shall take the vehicle to a police station which is nearest to the place of incidence and lodge a complaint against the passenger in case of an incident of indecent behaviour, molestation, eve-teasing, etc, against a woman passenger or girl travelling in the vehicle by any co-passenger which is tantamount to outraging her modesty.
The rules also mandate the conductor to maintain a complaint book to provide to any passenger to record complaints about the shortage of duties performed by the conductor and shall produce it on demand to police or transport department officials.
What not to do
The amended rules cover any obscene acts like staring, leering, whistling, winking, sexually offensive gestures or singing songs, apart from taking photos or videos or any other form of electronic communication, causing annoyance or harassment of a female passenger or indulging in any other form of misbehaviour or attempt to do so with an intent to outrage the modesty of the women