In today’s India, there has been an increase in introducing an institutional mechanism to deal with sexual harassment cases at work place as per Vishakha guidelines (1997) in the aftermath of various incidents of sexual harassment. Vishaka Guidelines were stipulated by the Supreme Court of India, in Vishaka and others vs. State of Rajasthan case in 1997, regarding sexual harassment at workplace. The court stated that these guidelines were to be implemented until legislation is passed to deal with the issue.
The guidelines suggest creation of a complaint mechanism for redressing complaints. The complaints committee should be headed by a woman and half of its members should be women. To prevent the possibility of any undue pressure or influence, the committee should involve a third party, either an NGO or anybody who is familiar with sexual harassment issues.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued circulars since 1998, to all the universities, advising them to establish a permanent cell and a committee to develop guidelines to combat sexual harassment, violence against women and ragging at the universities and colleges. It has further advised the universities to be proactive by developing a favorable atmosphere on the campus, where the status of a woman is respected and they are treated with respect. In lieu with the above guidelines Akash Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre has constituted a Committee against Sexual Harassment in 2014 which will be for both employees and students of the Institute.
It shall be the duty of the employer or other responsible persons in work places or other institutions to prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment and to provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts, of sexual harassment by taking all steps required.
For this purpose, sexual harassment includes such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) as:
It is discriminatory for instance when the woman has reasonable
grounds to believe that her objection would disadvantage her in
connection with her employment or work including recruiting or promotion
or when it creates a hostile work environment. Adverse consequences
might be visited if the victim does not consent to the conduct in
question or raises any objection thereto.
The Committee consists of members of the faculty, legal expert,
service staff and students’ representatives.
The members of the committee for the current academic year are:
|1||Dr. D.S. Vasudeva, MD (Pathology), Principal||Member Secretary|
|2||Dr. Anitha, Associate Professor, Anatomy||Convenor|
|3||Ms. Ankitha Chavan||Convenor|
|4||Dr. HB Veeranna, MD (Physiology), Medical Superintendent||Member|
|6||Dr. Sudha, Associate Professor, OBG||Member|
|7||Dr. Kala, Associate Professor, OBG||Member|
|8||Mrs. Amutha Selvi, Nursing Superintendent||Member|
|9||Mr. Prabhakar, Administrator||Member|
|10||Mr. Mahendra, Legal Advisor||Member|
|11||Ms. Veena, Administrative Officer||Member|
The Committee deals with issues relating to sexual harassment at the Akash Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre. It is applicable to all the students, staff and faculty. A complaint of discrimination or sexual harassment may be lodged by the victim or a third party. A written complaint may be addressed to the Convener of the Committee. If the complaint is made to the Director/ Chairman of the Institution or any of the Committee members, they may forward it to the Convener of the Committee against Sexual Harassment.
Here it should be noted that according to the Supreme Court guideline Sexual harassment can be defined as "unwelcome" sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) as: