Mediation to Settle Claims for Sexual Harassment Cases
The ‘Me Too’ movement which gave power to all the victims of sexual harassment to come out and share their experience to punish the culprit, led to an upsurge in the reported count of the harassment cases. According to the 2016 report provided by NCRB, there has been a tremendous increase observed in workplace harassment under sec 509 of IPC, NCRB reported that 665 cases had been reported in 2016 in contrast to the number of 526 cases in 2014. Other than these reported cases there are numerous cases that go unreported because of the various factors such as long and expensive litigation process, open trials, and delay in judgments. These cannot go unnoticed, as ignorance here leads to injustice to the victim, destroying the basic purpose of the Constitution we have. In such a scenario, it is suggestive that these cases regarding claims for sexual harassment offenses can be referred to as the mediation process because of their mentioned benefits.
- Litigation is a time and money consuming process draining one all resources. It is an inflexible process too. On the other hand, mediation is an inexpensive, informal, and expeditious process. The mediator neutral to the social and economic status of the parties and hence the chances of him inclining towards the money and influence of the harasser is meek. Unlike mechanical court procedures, mediation might help both the parties to come to the best possible settlement.
- Mediation processes are highly confidential thus ensuring utmost privacy to the parties. Suitable time and place for settlement may help the woman to not to spoil her daily work schedule and run behind the ever-going legal process.
The mediation process might not be the most suitable in cases where the case demands no single room for any sort of compromise and the act can never be forgiven. Also, as the agreement can only be reached when both parties agree, there is a risk for women as all the emotional pain she went through while narrating the incident might go in vain. But still, with the help of better mediation laws and giving mediation a chance in cases where they can be a possibility for an amicable resolution, mediation can act as an effective way in dispute resolution.