Section (4) of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (the "Act") stipulates that all government/non-government organizations/companies/establishments with more than or equal to 10 employees should constitute an Internal Committee ("IC") towards redressal of complaints of sexual harassment at the work place.
To ensure greater compliance with the Act, the office of the District Women and Child Development Officer in Mumbai ("DWCD") of the State of Maharashtra has, vide a letter, asked all organisations operating in Mumbai (to which the Act is applicable) to have their ICs registered as well.
2. LETTER BY DWCD IN MAHARASHTRA GOVERNMENT
The office of District Women and Child Development Officer in Mumbai ("DWCD") of the State of Maharashtra, vide a general letter issued on March 23, 2019, has asked establishments / organisations in Mumbai to constitute and register their ICs in the prescribed format, with the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Old Custom House, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road, Fort, Mumbai - 400001 on or before 20 July 2019.
This policy seems to be part of a specific pattern in India given that the Women and Child Welfare Department of the State of Telangana (the "Department") had issued a circular making it mandatory for all governmental and non-governmental organizations having 10 or more employees to register their ICs by July 15, 2019 on T-She Box, failing which there would be a fine of INR 50,000 (approximately US$ 730).
3. INDUSLAW VIEW
The Ministry of Women and Child Development ("MOCD") of the Government of India had introduced a similar online platform in 2017 by the name of the Sexual Harassment electronic Box (SHe-Box).
While the initiative taken by the DWCD only requires organisations in Mumbai to (constitute) and register their ICs, this seems to be part of a growing pattern in India when it comes to such initiatives. Given that, these initiatives could be easily introduced through circulars or letters, it may be in the interest of organizations to keep a close watch on the announcements being made at local levels to ensure timely compliance.
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