In Corporate Law
I am a married woman and I work in a company with more than 50 employees. In the last two weeks, I have had four incidents of sexual harassment, it was a senior member of my organization, the only reason I am afraid to file a complaint is that I feel the ICC members will be biased toward this senior member. I wish to know if there is an external member on the internal complaints committee who is from a neutral background and can understand my situation?

Answers (1)

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Yes, the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Act in India requires all companies with more than 10 employees to include an external member in their Internal Complaint Committee (ICC).

The composition of the ICC is as follows:

The Internal Complaints Committee must have:
1) Presiding Officer
2) Internal members
3) External member

It is mandatory that at least one half of the total number of members nominated to the ICC be women.

Who is known as an “external member”?

An external member appointed under the POSH Act is someone who does not belong to the organization, must be a non-employee.
The purpose of including a non-employee in the ICC is that such an outsider can act as a neutral and impartial member of the committee (ICC) and to avoid any bias or prejudice against any party.

Eligibility criteria of “external member”

The Act sets out the eligibility criteria for an external member as follows:
The member must be from an NGO or social organization that is involved in the cause of women and someone who has experience in dealing with cases related to sexual harassment.
An external member can be a person with legal education who has knowledge and experience in handling issues of sexual harassment of women.

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