The Vishakha guidelines were introduced by the apex court in 1997 which was evolved into a parliamentary law called the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013.
Salient provisions of the Act:
- Aim: To prevent and protect women against sexual harassment at the workplace and also to ensure effective redressal of complaints of sexual harassment.
- The Act defines sexual harassment in the workplace. The Act creates a mechanism for redressal of complaints. It also provides safeguards against false or malicious charges.
- Every workplace is required to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). The ICC is mandatory at each office or branch with 10 or more employees.
- These Internal Complaints Committees have the powers of civil courts for gathering evidence.
- Penalties have been prescribed for employers. Non-compliance with the provisions of the Act shall be punishable with a fine.
- Higher penalties and cancellation of license or registration to conduct business is also mentioned if violations are repeated.