With the enforcement of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and Rules (2013) (hereinafter collectively referred to as “POSH laws”) stricter measures have been adopted with the aim to justify the objective of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of India to prevent discrimination and harassment against women

Role of Internal Complaints Committee

The POSH laws require every establishment/ employer employing more than 10 person is required to establish an Internal Complaints Committee (hereinafter referred to as the “ICC”) to provide an appropriate forum for redressal of the complaints pertaining to the untoward incidents of sexual harassment to women at workplace thereby providing a safe workplace. An aggrieved woman may report an incident of sexual harassment with the ICC which shall then initiate the process for redressal of the same including but not limited to informing the complainant about reconciliation, undertaking investigation of the matter, arriving at a conclusion and submitting recommendations to the Employer.

The ICC is required by POSH laws to prepare an annual report and submit the same to the employer and the District Officer in each calendar year. The District Officer shall forward a brief report on the annual reports so received to the State Government.

Novel approach

With the view to ascertain compliance to the obligation of the establishments to set up the ICC for facilitating the female staff employed with them, the office of District Women and Child Development Officer in Mumbai State of Maharashtra, vide a general letter issued on March 23, 2019, has mandated the establishments / organizations in Mumbai to constitute and register their ICCs with the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Old Custom House, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road, Fort, Mumbai - 400001 on or before 20 July 2019.