More egg on the face of the WCD. The morons in the ministry botched the drafting of the law. Here is the full story:
I pulled this from the Indian Exress. The link is no longer displaying the news article.
Saturday August 18, 01:52 AM
While Women and Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury announced to the delegates at a women’s conference in the capital that the Bill against Sexual Harassment at the Workplace 2007 would be tabled before Parliament this session, the delegates spent Friday afternoon trashing the “loosely drafted” Bill and the “glaring loopholes” in it.Justice J S Verma, who penned the Vishakha judgment (the still extant Supreme Court guidelines for prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace), also “severely criticised” the Bill for its vague and loose definitions.
“Its been exactly a decade since the judgment was passed on August 13, 1997, but the present Bill does not seem to have improved upon it any way,” he said, adding that the Bill of this nature should stress on prevention rather than punishment.
Inaugurating the second annual convention of Women Power Connect, a national organisation of women’s groups, Chowdhury said the best was being done to push through 33 per cent women’s reservation in Parliament.
Delegates stressed the need for the sexual harassment Bill to explicitly state several criteria, for instance who appoints the crucial Complaints Committee, which decides on the complaints before it.
“As of now, less than 40 per cent of Government organisations have constituted the mandatory Complaint Committee,” said Ranjana Kumari, President of Women Power Connect.
Displeased with the lack of implementation of the mechanisms for sexual harassment, Justice Verma said it was imperative that any new legislation should also include a “monitoring mechanism” to check on the constitution and functioning of the Complaint Committees.
Underlining the experiences of working with sexual harassment cells in corporates and PSUs, Soma Sen Gupta of SANHITA, said more than half the complaints that were submitted to the committees were rejected by the “pre-liminary inquiry”. ” The new legislation has to ensure that such means cannot be adopted to deny women justice.”
Concluding the session, lawyer Priyea Narula said, “With the Bill in its present form, most women will not have the confidence of raising their voice against harassment at the workplace. The Bill has to incorporate these suggestions before it is passed and takes final shape.”
Please pass this Bill in its present form !!