Sexual harassment claims are the most cursed nurture of the present period. There are numerous cases all around the globe dazzling the predicament of female recruits functioning in detrimental state of affairs and who are prone to such harassment.
Arbitration and Sexual Harassment: In India
Indian laws do not provide for arbitration mechanisms. The laws prevailing the sexual harassment of women are Indian Penal Code, 1860, Indecent Representation of Women’s Act 1986, and Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013.
The instances of sexual harassment are dealt with supreme rigorousness as IPC provides for 1-3 years of incarceration or fine or with both. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013 is an additional mechanism which covers women not only from structured sector but also from unorganized sector. As far as the ‘arbitration’ in harassment cases is worried, none of the provisions exist in India. But, Sec. 10 and Sec. 11 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013 provides for ‘conciliation’ in such of the subject matters.
The procedure is given in Sec. 11 where a written complaint has to be filed by the victim within 3 months from the date of the unpleasant incident and the inquisition has to be accomplished within 90 days by the Internal Committee or the Local Complaints Committee. The inquisition report has to be issue within 10 days from the finishing point of the inquisition. Subsequently the employer is obligated to an act on the recommendations of the committee within 60 days. At this instant the appeal if any goes to the Tribunal or Court. The circumstances for appeal may take place in three circumstances via
- An act of delinquency
- No act by the employer
- Penalty for the playful complaints.
Section 10 provides the extent and power for conciliation. It states that the Internal Committee or, as the case may be, the Local Committee, may, before commencing an inquisition under section 11 and at the appeal of the aggrieved woman take steps to reconcile the matter between her and the respondent through conciliation. This means that undertake for conciliation are made before the inquisition is commenced. This is not obligatory upon the victim. She can prefer not to go for conciliation and commence the suit.
We need to conscious on the fact whether there is any opportunity for arbitration in India and whether there is any dormant story following this conciliation. As far as conciliation is apprehensive, as previously discussed, the employee is not bound by it but there might be state of affairs where she can be hassled to resolve the matter. An amount of factors such as
- Position in the workplace.
- The threat of losing the career.
- Demotion in the career
- Antagonistic outlook.
- Impact on the presentation of work play.
The responsibility in deciding whether the employee requests to go for conciliation. There have been abundant instances where the employees were obligatory to leave your job because they commenced suits against the harassment. But with respect to arbitration, the circumstances have not reached up to that level where the employee is obligatory to accept the arbitration clause and resolve consequently. As of now, the courts handle the harassment cases if the inquisition committee does not give pleasing remedy. The extent of Arbitration in sexual harassment cases in India is yet to extend its extraction because we have not acknowledged such mechanism since the beginning in our laws. In my belief, matters as imperative and delicate as harassment ought to not be dealt by arbitration since the prevention effect of the IPC may mislay its idea. It may also end up in the conception of ‘market’ where disputes like these are let go by mere reimbursement or any other remuneration. This might not verify to be a well put into practice in the extensive run.