New Delhi: Once again the topic of sexual harassment of women at workplace is in news after female ‘staffer’ under the pseudonym Indian Fowler posted a blog at medium.com, accusing Kumar of sexual advances at the workplace and his several attempts to exploit her.
In the response section, another female employee shared her ordeal at TVF, saying that she “had to face a similar experience while working there. I felt exploited and cheated and I left my job under very bad circumstances”.
It is to be mentioned that sexual harassment at workplace is a criminal offence punishable of imprisonment up to 3 years. Sexual Harassment of Women at work place (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act was passed in 2013 which lays the process to be followed in organized and unorganized sectors in case of sexual harassment of women at workplace.
According to report published in Economic Times, yet, even four years on, there are companies that fail to abide by these norms. It is also reported that 65% of respondents in an Indian Bar Association survey said their companies did not follow prescribed norms.
It is further reported that even in companies that have sexual harassment prevention committees, complainant are denied justice particularly when the accused is a high-performing executive.
In case of CEO of the digital entertainment start-up, The Viral Fever, Advocate Rizwan Siddiqui filed a complaint against Arunabh Kumar, CEO. Siddiqui said he has filed a third-party FIR against Kumar. When no one came forward to file a legal complaint against Kumar, Siddiqui decided to come forward and initiate the process.
“In these kinds of cases not a lot of women want to come forward and take any kind of action because they are so scared and worried about their name and reputation… So I also came forward,” he said, adding that he also filed an FIR against Kamaal R. Khan “when he was troubling all the heroines on Twitter”.
Explaining the legal system, Siddiqui said: “The law is very clear that except of certain offences, any third party can file an FIR.”
For now, he is waiting for his complaint to translate into FIR, and want the investigation to start soon.
“If that doesn’t happen, I will take it to the next level and drag the police officers too,” Siddiqui said.
It is to be mentioned that although, sexual harassment at workplace is a criminal offence punishable of imprisonment upto 3 years, still underreported due to lack of awareness.
Victim can register a complaint against harasser with the complain committee in the organization or with police. Law provides confidentiality to prevent the identity of the victim. Victim needs lesser proof under this law than to get justice under criminal law. Proving the probability is enough in case of sexual harassment at workplace.
Victims can also register a complaint through the WhatsApp number of the Hyderabad City Police 9490616555, on the SHE TEAM’s Facebook page or even through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With inputs from IANS