Jurisdiction - India
India – Employment Snapshots.

28 January, 2014


The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, (‘SH Act’), that received Presidential assent on April 22, 2013, has now been brought into force by the Central Government’s notification dated December 9, 2013, published in the Official Gazette.

As previously reported, the SH Act codifies a formal redress mechanism for women subjected to sexual harassment and comprehensively incorporates the guidelines specified by the Supreme Court in Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan,1 whilst expanding inter alia on the definition of employee and workplace. The SH Act also details the requirements for the composition of the Internal Complaints Committee and the obligations of an employer in relation to ensuring a safe environment for women in the workplace.

The Central Government has also formulated the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Rules, 2013 (‘SH Rules’), which have been notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette and have been brought into force on December 9, 2013. The SH Rules specify, inter alia: (i) the process for making the complaint of sexual harassment and the procedure for enquiring into such a complaint by the complaints committee; (ii) the action to be taken when the allegation is proved or when the complaint is found to be false or malicious; (iii) the appellate authority to whom an appeal against any recommendations can be made; and (iv) the manner in which the employer is required to organise workshops, formulate policies, etc.

In this context, it should be noted that the Indian Penal Code, 1860 provides for more stringent criminal consequences for sexual harassment, than provided under the SH Act.


End Notes:


1 Vishakha and Ors. v. State of Rajasthan and Ors., (1997) 6 scc 241




For further information, please contact:


Zia Mody, AZB & Partners
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Abhijit Joshi, AZB & Partners 
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Shuva Mandal, AZB & Partners 
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Samir Gandhi, AZB & Partners
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Percy Billimoria, AZB & Partners 
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Aditya Bhat, AZB & Partners 
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