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    Object of the act

    The object of the Act is to provide protection against sexual harassment of women at workplace and for the redressal of complaints of sexual harassment requiring employer to constitute Internal Complaint Committee in this regard


    • Section 2(d): “District Officer” means an officer notified under section 5
    • Section 2(f): “Employee” means person employed at a workplace for any work on regular, temporary, ad hoc or daily wage basis, either directly or through an agent, including a contractor, with or, without the knowledge of the principal employer, whether. for remuneration or not, or working on a voluntary basis or otherwise, whether the terms of employment are express or implied and includes a co-worker, a contract worker, probationer, trainee, apprentice or called by any other such name;
    • Section 2(g): “employer” means
      (i) in relation to any department, organisation, undertaking,. establishment, enterprise, institution, oflice, branch or unit of the appropriate Government or a local authority, the head of that department, organisation, undertaking, establishment. enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit or such.othcr officer as the appropriate Government or the local authority, as the case may be, may by an order specify in this behalf:
      (ii) in any workplace not covered under sub-clause (i), any person responsible for the management, supervision and control of the workplace

      Explanation.-- For the purposes of this sub-clause "management" includes the person or board or committee responsible for formulation and administration of polices for such organisation:
      (iii) in relation to workplace covered under sub-clauses (i) and (ii), the person discharging contractual obligations with respect to his or her employees;
      (iv) in relation to a dwelling place or house, a person or a household who employs or benefits from the employment of domestic worker, irrespective of the number, time period or type of such worker employed, or the nature of the employment or activities performed by the domestic worker;
    • Section 2(h): “Internal Complaint Committee” means Internal Complaint Committee constituted under Section 4
    • Section 2(n): “Sexual Harassment” includes any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behavior (whether directly or by implication) namely:
      (i) physical contact and advances; or
      (ii) a demand or request for sexual favours; or
      (iii) making sexually coloured remarks; or
      (iv) showing pornography; or
      (v) any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature;
    • Section 2(b): "appropriate Government" means- (i) in relation to a workplace which is established, owned, controlled or wholly or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly-
      1. By the Central Government or the Union territory administration, the Central Government;
      2. By the State Government, the State Government;
      3. In relation to any workplace not covered under sub-clause (i) and falling within its territory, the State Government

    Internal complaint committee

    • Every employer of a workplace shall, by an order in writing, constitute a Committee to be known as the “Internal Complaints Committee"
    • If the offices or administrative units of the workplace are located at different places or divisional or sub-divisional level, the Internal Complaint Committee shall be constituted at all administrative units or offices
        • The Internal Committee shall consist following members to be nominated by the employer namely: (a) a Presiding officer who shall he & woman employed at a senior level at workplace from amongst the employees
        • Provided that in case a senior level woman employee is not available, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from other offices or administrative units of the workplace referred to in sub-section (1)
        • not less than two Members from amongst employees preferably committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge;
        • one member from amongst non-governmental organizations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment
        • Provided that at least one-half of the total Members so nominated shall be women [Section 4(2)a, b and c]
        • The Presiding Officer and every Member of the Internal Committee shall hold the office for such period not exceeding three years, from the date of their nomination as may be specified by the employer [Section 4 (3)]
        • The member appointed from amongst the non-governmental organizations or associations shall be paid fees or allowances for holding the proceedings of the Internal Committee. (Section 4(4) of the Act)
        • Section 3 of the Rules elaborates that the member appointed from amongst the non-government organizations shall be entitled to an allowance of Rs 200 per day for holding the proceedings of the Internal Committee. Reimbursement of travel cost incurred in travelling by train in 3rd AC or AC bus and auto rickshaw or taxi or the actual amount spent by him/her, whichever is less will also be done.


    • Any aggrieved woman may make, in writing, a complaint of sexual harassment at workplace to the Internal Committee if so constituted, or the Local Committee, in case it is not so constituted, within a period of three months from the date of incident and in case of a series of incidents, within a period of three months from the date of last incident
    • Provided that where such complaint cannot be made in writing, the Presiding Officer or any Member of the Internal Committee or the Chairperson or any Member of the Local Committee, as the case may be, shall render all reasonable assistance to the woman for making the complaint in writing:
    • Provided further that the Internal Committee or, as the case may be, the Local Committee may, for the reasons to be recorded in writing, extend the time limit not exceeding three months, if it is satisfied that the circumstances were such which prevented the woman from filing a complaint within the said period
    • Where the aggrieved woman is unable to make a complaint on account of her physical or mental incapacity or death or otherwise, her legal heir or such other person as may be prescribed may make a complaint under this section(Section 9)

    Duties of the employer

    • Every employer shall provide safe working environment which shall include safety form the person coming into contact at the workplace
    • Display at conspicuous place in the workplace, the consequences of sexual harassments
    • Arrange workshops and awareness programs at regular intervals for sensitizing the employees with the provisions of the Act and orientation programs for the members if the Internal as may be prescribed under the Act
    • Provide necessary facilities to the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, for dealing with complaint and conducting an injury
    • Assist in securing the attendance of respondent and witnesses before the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be
    • Make available such information to the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, as it may require having regard to the complaint made under sub-section (1) of section 9
    • Provide assistance to the woman if she so chooses to file a complaint in relation to the offence under the Indian Penal Code or any other law for the time being in force
    • Initiate action under Indian Penal Code or any other Law for the time being inforce against the perpetrator or if the aggrieved woman so desires, where the perpetrator is not an employee, in the workplace at which the incident of sexual harassment took place
    • Treat sexual harassment as a misconduct under the service rules and initiate action for such misconduct
    • Monitor the timely submission of report:; by the Internal Committee

    Preparation of annual return

    The Annual Report which the Complaints Committee shall prepare under Section 21, shall have the following details:

    • Number of complaints of sexual harassment received in the year
    • Number of complaints disposed off during the year
    • Number of cases pending for more than ninety days
    • Number of workshops or awareness programme against sexual harassment carried out
    • Nature of action taken by the employer of the District Officer (Rule 14)


    • If employer fails to:
      • Constitute an Internal Complaint Committee under Section 4 of the Act
      • Take actions under Section 13, 14 & 22
      • Contravenes or attempts to contravene or abet contravention of other provisions of this Act or any Rules made thereunder
      He shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees
    • If any employer, after having been previously convicted of an offence punishable under this Act subsequently commits and is convicted of the same offence shall be liable to:
      • (i) twice the punishment, which might have been imposed on a first conviction, subject to the punishment being maximum provided for the same offence:
      • Provided that in case a higher punishment is prescribed under any other law for the time being in force, tor the offence for which the accused is being prosecuted, the court shall take due cognizance of the same while awarding the punishment;
      • (ii) cancellation of his license or withdrawal, or non-renewal, or approval, or cancellation of the registration, as the case may be, by the Government or local authority required for carrying on his business or activity. (Section 26)