HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD

Internal Committee

About

The Internal Committee at High Court of Judicature at Allahabad stands constituted under Section 4 of ‘The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013’ to inquire into complaints of sexual harassment of women at the work places of Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Allahabad and its Bench at Lucknow which is being assisted by Sri Krishna Swaroop Dhar Dwivedi, Registrar (J) (Confidential) as Presenting Officer.

What is Sexual Harassment?

According to the Section 2 (n) of Chapter I of The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, “Sexual Harassment” includes any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour (whether directly or by implication) namely-

(i) physical contact and advances; or
(ii) a demand or request for sexual favours; or
(iii) making sexually coloured remarks; or
(iv) showing pornography; or
(v) any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature;

The following circumstances, if present in relation to any behaviour of sexual harassment, may amount to sexual harassment:-
(i) implied or explicit promise/ threat of preferential/ detrimental treatment in her present or future employment; or
(ii) interference with her work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment for her; or
(iii) humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety.

How can the complaint be made?

  • Any aggrieved woman, or on account of her physical or mental incapacity or death or otherwise, her legal heir or such other person as may be prescribed, may make, in writing, a complaint of Sexual harassment at workplace within a period of three months from the date of incident or in case of a series of incidents, within a period of three months from the date of last incident. Provided that the Committee may extend the time limit not exceeding three months, under special circumstances.
  • The Presiding Officer or any member of the Internal Committee shall render all reasonable assistance to the woman for making the complaint in writing.
  • At the time of filing the complaint, the complainant shall submit six copies of the complaint along with supporting documents and the names and addresses of the witnesses.

Manner of inquiry into the complaint

  • Rule 7(1) - At the time of filing the complaint, the complainant shall submit six copies of the complaint along with supporting documents and the names and the addresses of the witnesses.
  • Rule 7(2) - On receipt of the complaint, the Committee shall send one of the copies received from the aggrieved woman under sub-rule (1) to the respondent within a period of seven working days.
  • Rule 7(3) - The respondent shall file his reply to the complaint along with his list of documents, and names and addresses of witnesses, within a period not exceeding ten working days from the date of receipt of the documents specified under sub-rule (1).
  • Rule 7(4) - The Committee shall make inquiry into the complaint in accordance with the principles of natural justice.
  • Rule 7(5) - The Committee shall have the right to terminate the inquiry proceedings or to give an ex-parte decision on the complaint, if the complainant or respondent fails, without sufficient cause, to present herself or himself for three consecutive hearings convened by the Chairperson or Presiding Officer, as the case may be:
      Provided that such termination or ex-parte order may not be passed without giving a notice in writing, fifteen days in advance, to the party concerned.
  • Rule 7(6) - The parties shall not be allowed to bring in any legal practitioner to represent them in their case at any stage of the proceedings before the Committee.
  • Rule 7(7) - In conducting the inquiry, a minimum of three Members of the Committee including the Presiding Officer or the Chairperson, as the case may be, shall be present.
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (English)
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (Hindi)
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Rules, 2013

Punishment for complaints of sexual harassment at workplace

  • If the allegations are proved, the Committee shall recommend to the employer to take any action including a written apology, warning, reprimand or censure, withholding of promotion, withholding of pay rise or increments, terminating the respondent from service or undergoing a counselling session or carrying out community service.
  • If the allegations are found to be malicious or false/ forged/ misleading, action may be taken against the complainant, provided that the malicious intent shall be established after an enquiry and a mere inability to substantiate the complaint need not attract action.

Duties of employer

  • provide safe working environment at the workplace.
  • provide assistance to the woman if she so chooses to file a complaint in relation to the offence under the I.P.C. (45 of 1860) or any other law for the time being in force.
  • Treat sexual harassment as a misconduct under the service rules and initiate action for such misconduct.

Where can the complaints be filed?

  • Such complaints may be sent to Hon’ble the Chief Justice or Learned Registrar General, High Court, Allahabad.
  • Complaints of sexual harassment at workplace may also be mailed to the following email ids:-
    po.icc@allahabadhighcourt.in
    internalcomplaints.section@allahabadhighcourt.in
  • Such complaints may be put in the complaint boxes placed at the following places of the High Court premises at Allahabad & Lucknow:-

    At Allahabad

    Sl.No. Box No. Place of installation

    1.

    001

    Outside the office of Ld. Registrar General

    2.

    002

    Protocol office

    3.

    003

    Employees’ canteen

    4.

    004

    Behind reception desk of C.I.T. Building

    5.

    005

    Mediation Centre

    6.

    006

    Advocates’ Canteen

    7.

    007

    Outside the Canteen at 2nd floor in 20 Chambers-30 Courtroom Building (near Court no. 83)

    8.

    008

    Near Court No. 34

    9.

    009

    In front of Advocates Association Building

    10.

    010

    Junction point of corridors of mediation building and stationery building

    11.

    011

    Entry Point of advocates near post office

    12.

    012

    Outside the Stamp Reporter Criminal Section near escalator

    13.

    013

    Near the lift at ground floor in Stationery Building

    14.

    014

    Near the lift on ground floor of New Annexe Building

    At Lucknow

    Sl.No.

    Place of installation

    1.

    Outside the office of the Senior Registrar, Lucknow

    2.

    Protocol Office

    3.

    Employees’ Canteen

    4.

    Advocates’ Canteen

    5.

    Lobby near the Escalator

    6.

    Ground Floor of Main Building

    Near Hall No.-1 & CCTV Control Room

    In between the Gallery of Hall No.3-10

    7.

    First Floor of Main Building

    In front of Women’s Washroom near Chamber No.118

    8.

    Second Floor of Main Building

    Near Private Secretary Room

    9.

    Ground Floor of Judicial Block

    Gallery between Mediation and Copying Manual

    10.

    Third Floor of Judicial Block

    Gallery between Paper Book and Supreme Court Sections

    11.

    Ground Floor of AG Block A, B & C

    Gallery of Block B at First Floor outside Hall for Lady Advocates

    12.

    Ground Floor of High Court Dispensary

    Inside the Dispensary close to the entrance gate

Contact

(i) Smt. Krishna Singh, Joint Registrar, Complaints Cell (8004905561)
(ii) Sri S. R. Vishwakarma, Deputy Registrar, Complaints Cell (8004905236)
(iii) Complaints Cell: 05322422335 (2294)

Points to be kept in mind

  • The High Court has a “zero tolerance policy” for Sexual harassment of women at workplace.
  • The proceedings under this Act are kept highly confidential.