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Dispose off sexual harassment cases within 30 days: DoPT

  • In a reformist and progressive move by Department of personnel and training, have issued new guidelines that investigation into cases of sexual harassment must be completed within 30 days and under any circumstances within 90 days from the date of the complaint.
     
    And in case of complaint of sexual harassment at government workplaces, the ministries and departments have to keep a watch on the complainant so as to ensure that she is not victimized in any manner because of her having filed the complaint. All ministries have to mandatorily submit a monthly report to the ministry of women and child development so that the progress can be monitored in such cases.
     
    In a move to encourage women employees facing sexual harassment to come forward, the Centre on Tuesday took this bold step after Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi expressed disappointment with the way sexual harassment inquiries were getting held up.
     
    The new guidelines also recommend that the complainant should not be posted under the respondent (who is facing the complaint) or any other person where there may be a reasonable ground to believe that she may be subjected to harassment
     
    The aggrieved woman has been given further option to send representation to the Secretary or head of the organisation in case she feels that she is being victimised because of her complaint.
     
    Maneka, while appreciating DoPT for having quickly issued the guidelines, said the WCD Ministry would soon be coming out with a comprehensive plan to sensitize and train the heads of Internal Complaint Committee under the Central Government Ministries/ Departments. 

     OUR TAKE

    Undoubtedly, the act by the Department of personnel and training is a path-breaking step to reassure the women working at government offices, who are forced to exploitation from by their colleagues or their superior and who apprehensive of raising their voices. We are glad that the government took this positive and pragmatic step. 


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