Government: Three months paid leave for sexual harassment victims
By Pronali Mukherjee
According to new set of strict rules by the Centre in cases of sexual harassment complainant would be allowed three months paid leave and she or the charged government employee can be transferred to other department during the inquiry. Dissentions advisory groups have been set up in all services and associations under them in compatibility to the judgment of the Supreme Court in the Vishakha case. These advisory groups are to be lead by a lady and at any rate a large portion of its individuals ought to be women. Dissentions advisory for checking sexual harassment at work place will have the authority to suggest transfer of the affected woman or the charged officer to any other workplace and to permit leave to the aggrieved woman to duration of three months.
The leave will not be deducted from the account. The disciplinary authority has been advised not to dispense with the inquiry in complaints of sexual harassment delicately, discretionarily or with ulterior thought process or only in light of the fact that the body of evidence against the government servant is frail. “In case a woman officer of sufficiently senior level is not available in a particular office, an officer from another office may be so appointed. To prevent the possibility of any undue pressure or influence from senior levels, such complaints committees should involve a third party, either an NGO or some other body which is familiar with the issue of sexual harassment,” the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said in its instructions. It also mentioned that the complainant is needed to make a complaint within a period of 3 months of the episode and in the matter where there has been a series of incidents, three months of the last incident.
The DoPT guidelines also mentioned that the complaint committee may extend the time duration for reasons to be mentioned in writing, on the off chance that the circumstances were such which kept the complainant from documenting a protest inside of the stipulated period. Sexual harassment incorporates physical contact and advances, request or solicitation for sexual favours, sexually shaded comments, demonstrating any obscenity and some other unwelcome physical, verbal, non-verbal behaviour of a sexual nature.+
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