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Sexual Harassment Complaint

SSexual Harassment Complaint Online

Undoubtedly Sexual Harassment is one of the rising crimes in India. All credit goes to changing living conditions, migration of villagers to cities and modernization of ideas and concepts adopted from western society.

Live in relationship was such a big taboo in 90s but now it is just the trend.  Even people in 2 tier cities has started renting out their properties to couples not married directly which is in a live-in relationship.

Also Read- TRANSFER OF A CRIMINAL CASE FROM HIGH COURT CHANDIGARH

 So where the sexual harassment does comes in?

No preaching let us read the law first straight from IPC Bare Act

After section 354 of the Penal Code, the following sections shall be inserted, namely:—

Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment.

'354 A.

1.     A man committing any of the following acts—

              i.        physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures; or

             ii.        a demand or request for sexual favours; or

            iii.        showing pornography against the will of a woman; or

            iv.        making sexually coloured remarks, shall be guilty of the offence of sexual harassment.

2.     Any man who commits the offence specified in clause (I) or clause (ii) or clause (iii) of sub-section (I) shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

3.     Any man who commits the offence specified in clause (iv) of sub-section (I) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both

Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe.

354B. Any man who assaults or uses criminal force to any woman or abets such act with the intention of disrobing or compelling her to be naked, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Voyeurism.

354C. Any man who watches, or captures the image of a woman engaging in a private act in circumstances where she would usually have the expectation of not being observed either by the perpetrator or by any other person at the behest of the perpetrator or disseminates such image shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than one year, but which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine, and be punished on a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than three years, but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation I.— For the purpose of this section, "private act" includes an act of watching carried out in a place which, in the circumstances, would reasonably be expected to provide privacy and where the victim's genitals, posterior or breasts are exposed or covered only in underwear; or the victim is using a lavatory; or the victim is doing a sexual act that is not of a kind ordinarily done in public.

Explanation 2.— Where the victim consents to the capture of the images or any act, but not to their dissemination to third persons and where such image or act is disseminated, such dissemination shall be considered an offence under this section.

Stalking.

354D.

1.     Any man who—

              i.        follows a woman and contacts, or attempts. to contact such woman to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest by such woman; or

             ii.        monitors the use by a woman of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication, commits the offence of stalking:

Provided that such conduct shall not amount to stalking if the man who pursued it proves that—

              i.        it was pursued for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime and the man accused of stalking bad been entrusted with the responsibility of prevention and detection of crime by the State; or

             ii.        it was pursued under any law or to comply with any condition or requirement imposed by any person under any law; or

            iii.        in the particular circumstances such conduct was reasonable and justified.

2.     Whoever commits the offence of stalking shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine; and be punished on a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to fine.'…


Also Read- HOW TO FILE A POLICE COMPLAINT

Now, the interpretation is key what form, in what magnitude and what behaviors constitutes the offence of sexual harassment. Place can be any.

For workplace it is governed under POSH i.e. Prevention of Sexual Harassment Policy of the organization and for rest criminal complaint can be filed in the local police station.

Sexual Harassment of women at workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act ,2013
As per law, any work place with more than 10 employees need to implement it.

Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, Section 354 added to IPC 1-3 yrs imprisonment and a fine. Sexual harassment crimes employer are under obligation to report it.

Also Read- SOON A LAW FOR LOVE MARRIAGE PROTECTION

Examples of Sexual Harassment
1 Singing lewd songs at women in public place punishable under section 294 IPC , 3 months jail and fine or both.
2 Asking for Sexual favours despite disinterest punishable under section 354 A punishable with 1-3 yearsand fine or both
3 Following someone and stalking  under Section 354 D , punishable with 3-5 years jail and  fine or both.
4 Threat for sexual advances to body, face, property of women punishable under 503 IPC and jail for 2 years.
5 Capturing images of women engage in private act without her consent voyeurism 354 (C) , punishable for 1-3 years and 3 -7 years.
6 You can also lodge FIR with local police station.
7 Promotions or work benefits for sexual advances covered under sexual harassment at workplace for women Act 2013.
8 Morphing images and sharing it to harass is a crime under section 499 IPC with 2 years jail and fine or both.
9 Any workplace more than 10 employees should have internal complaints committee as per sexual harassment for women at workplace Act 2013.
10 Obscene or defamatory post on social punishable under section 67 of Information Technology Act with 2yrs in Jail.
11 Enquiry to be complete within 90 days as per sexual harassment for women at workplace Act 2013
12 For the same offence FIR can also be lodged and complaint with the company can also be made.
13 Sexually coloured remarks against women in Public punishable under section 509 , 3 years in jail.

14 Unwanted physical contact against women's will 354A and 3 year jail.
15 Domestic help covered is under sexual harassment for women at workplace Act (SHWWA) 2013 since it is her workplace.
16 You can make the statement in language you understand before SHO police.
17 Sexual Harassment in transport vehicle of employer is also liable under SHWWA, 2013.
18 Abusing women with sexually coloured remarks on social media is crime under section 509 IPC with 3 years jail and fine.

19 Committee can take action against false complaints as well.

Also Read- 498 A NOW AND THEN.

There can be many more instances as these are the just examples. 50% of the cases goes unreported but now seeing the level of awareness, female employees are becoming vocal about their issues which is a good sign for Indian Companies planning to span global.

Also Read- MARRYING FOR SEXUAL PLEASURE? THINK AGAIN- DELHI HC

Companies and Organizations must have POSH i.e. Prevention of Sexual Harassment Policy in place to avert any kind of unwanted and untoward situation that may lead them to legal trouble as well. Since POSH is a statutory requirement, it’s compliance is a must.

If you are an organization looking to draft or formulate POSH policy for your company or organization, then LegalSeva can be of great help. Just Dial 99888-17966 and talk to our team for quick assistance.

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