Bengal panel seeks tough laws over sexual harassment
The West Bengal Commission for Women proposes recommending to the state government as well as the National Law Commission more stringent laws to deal with cases involving sexual harassment at workplace.
"We held a state-level convention and had elaborate discussion with various stakeholders and compiled a host of new recommendations to prevent sexual harassment at workplace," commission chairperson Sunanda Mukherjee said.
"It is essential that a complainant is provided with immunity in case the charges are not proved. The provision to penalise complainants if the charges are not proved serves as a deterrent and many victims shy away from reporting such harassment," Mukherjee said.
The recommendations also seek making an employer more responsible in dealing with complains of sexual harassment as well as to specify the punishment to be handed over to the guilty.
"Despite Supreme Court guidelines on the issue, we have seen that standard operating procedures are not followed when a complaint is made. So, we have focused on making the procedures simpler," Mukherjee said.
She added that the recommendations will be shortly handed over to the state government and the National Law Commission.
The commission also recommended doing away with any time limit for reporting cases of sexual harassment at workplace.
(Posted on 27-02-2014)