(For Prevention of Sexual Harassment)
The occurrence of sexual harassment in the workplace, any reference to sexism, gender stereotyping or gender based discrimination and need for healthy, safe environment for all workers including women has been taken note of and the Hon’ble Supreme Court has laid down guidelines for its prevention and deterrence in 1997. Whereas the sexual harassment results in violation of fundamental rights of a women to equality under Article 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India (“Constitution”) and right to life and live with dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution and her right to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business which includes right to safe working environment. The protection against sexual harassment and right to work with dignity are universally recognized human rights by international conventions and instruments such as Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (“Convention”), which has been ratified on 25th June, 1993 by the Government of India. Based on the guidelines framed by the Hon’ble Supreme court of India in Vishaka versus State of Rajasthan and the statute ratified vide Convention, the Government of India, Ministry of Law and Justice has constituted the “The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (“the Act”) and made it effective from December 09, 2013. In deference to the aforesaid guidelines, this College is committed to providing and promoting a safe, healthy and congenial atmosphere irrespective of gender, caste, creed or social class of the employees. The College in its endeavour to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all its employees has developed a policy to ensure zero tolerance towards verbal, physical, psychological conduct of a sexual nature by any employee or stakeholder that directly or indirectly harasses, disrupts or interferes with another’s work performance or creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile environment such that each employee can realize his / her maximum potential. This policy is meant to sensitize the employees about their fundamental right to have safe and healthy environment at their workplace and what conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the ways and means which we are adopting to prevent occurrence of any such event, and in the chance of an occurrence, to enable a fair mechanism for dealing with such conduct the College has constituted an Internal Complaint Committee (ICC).
In pursuance of UGC (Prevention, Prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment of women employees and students in higher educational institutions) Regulations, 2015 read with Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and in partial modification by UGC, Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) is re-constituted as under to deal with complaints relating to sexual harassment at work place.
The ICC comprises of the following members:
- Chairperson: Principal
- Coordinator: Dr. Rojita Mishra, Lecturer in Botany
- Member: Dr. Smt. Jyochhana Rani Pattanaik, Lecturer in Odia
- Member: Lt. Smt. Binata Das, Lecturer in History
(If the matter involves students, the Chairperson shall nominate student representatives in consultation with the other members)
On receipt of a complaint ICC shall conduct preliminary enquiry so as to ascertain the truth of the allegations by collecting the documentary evidence as well as recording statements of any possible witnesses including the complainant. ICC shall then submit the preliminary enquiry report to Vice-Chancellor / Disciplinary authority along with all the original documents adduced during the preliminary enquiry proceedings. In case the allegations are not in the nature of sexual harassment, ICC may refer such complaints to the Grievance Redressal Cell.
Where sexual harassment occurs as a result of an act or omission by any third party or outsider, ICC shall take all steps necessary and reasonable to assist the affected person in terms of support and preventive action.
ICC shall comply with the procedure prescribed in the aforementioned UGC Regulations 2015 and the Sexual Harassment Act for inquiring into the complaint in a time bound manner.
If ICC concludes that the allegations made were false, malicious or the complaint was made knowing it to be untrue or forged or misleading information has been provided during the inquiry, the complainant shall be liable to be punished as per the relevant provision of the aforementioned UGC Regulations 2015.
Coordinator, ICC shall receive the complaints of Sexual harassment, if any, on behalf of ICC and shall coordinate the deliberations of the ICC on the complaints received.
Who can approach ICC for help?
Any female employee (faculty, student or staff) of Polasara Science College, Polasara if aggrieved can approach the ICC with a written complaint.
Definition of Sexual Harassment:
“Sexual harassment” includes any unwelcome sexually inclined behaviour, whether directly or indirectly, such as:
- Physical contact and advances
- Demand or request for sexual favours
- Sexually coloured remarks
- Showing any pornography, or
- Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature
What are the possible actions that can be taken against the respondent?
- Written apology
- Bond of Good behaviour
- Adverse remark in the confidential report
- Stopping of increments / promotion
- Any other relevant actions
If you think you are harassed or being harassed, what should you do?
Send an email to chairperson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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ALL COMPLAINTS ARE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL
The inquiry shall be completed within a period of ninety days from the date of complaint.
On completion of the inquiry, the ICC shall provide a report of its findings to the employer within period of ten days from the date of completion of the inquiry and such report be made available to the concerned parties.
If the allegations against the respondent has been proved, it shall recommend punitive actions to be taken against the respondent to the employer.
The employer shall act upon the recommendation within sixty days of receiving it.