Sexual Harassment of Women at their Work Place
(Prevention) Bill, 2003

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A Bill to provide for prevention of sexual harassment of women and women employees that is work related or arises during the course of employment or custodial in nature by anyone including their employers, superiors, colleagues and matters connected therewith.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the fifty fifth year of the Republic of India as follows:-

  1. Short title extent and commencement
    1. This Act may be called the Sexual Harassment of Women at their Work Place(Prevention) Act, 2003.
    2. It extends to the whole of India.
    3. It shall come into force with immediate effect.

  2. Definition: In this Act, unless the Context otherwise requires -

    1. "Appropriate Government" means in relation to the Centrally owned undertakings or departments, the Central Government and in relation to the other undertakings and departments, the State Government.

    2. Employer means:-

      1. In relation to an establishment which is under control of the Appropriate Government a person or authority appointed by the Appropriate Government for the supervision and control of employees or where no person or authority is appointed the Head of the Department.

      2. In relation to an establishment under any local authority, the person appointed by such authority for the supervision and control of employees or where no person is so appointed the Chief Executive Officer;

      3. In any other case, the person who or the authority which, has the ultimate control over the affairs of establishment or house and where-such affairs are entrusted to any other person whether called a Manager, Managing Director, Managing Agent or by any other name, such person;

    3. "Sexual Harassment" includes any avoidable sexual advances either verbal or through gestures or through use of sexually suggestive or pornographic material, and includes amongst others; whistling, sexually slanting and obscene remarks or jokes; comments about physical appearance; demands for sexual favours; threats, innuendoes; avoidable physical contacts, touching, patting, pinching; physical assaults and molestation of and towards women workers by their male colleagues, or any one who for the time being is in a position to sexually harass the women.

    4. "Woman" means and includes a woman employed, whether directly or through any agency, for wages or for similar other considerations in any establishment, house or industry, or at construction site, or a self employed women, and also includes a student in an educational or other institution of learning.

    5. "Work Place" means -
      1. a factory;
      2. a mine;
      3. a plantation;
      4. an agricultural field;
      5. a place of sale of agricultural or other products;
      6. a brick kiln;
      7. a construction site;
      8. a shop or business establishment;
      9. any private office or house including a farm house;
      10. any Government, semi Government establishment or department including telegraph office, post office, telephone exchange etc;
      11. a hospital or nursing home;
      12. court premises, police stations; remand homes or other judicial establishments;
      13. restaurants, clubs, hotels; resorts or any other hospitality establishments;
      14. school, college, university or like institution;
      15. a training institution;
      16. an establishment wherein persons are employed for exhibition of equestrian, acrobatic, athletic and other sports related performance;
      17. any other place, where a woman visits in connection with work;

  3. Conduct of sexual harassment to amount to misconduct in employment: Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the conduct of sexual harassment would amount to misconduct in employment.

  4. Joint responsibility of employer in offence of sexual harassment :Notwithstanding anything contained in other law for the time being in force if an act of sexual harassment is committed at a work place, the supervisor, manager and managing director or the overall administrative head, shall also be joint responsibility for the commission of sexual harassment in the establishment and irrespective of the intention and prior meeting of minds; section 34 of the IPC shall be made applicable in their case.

  5. Women employees not to be harassed : No person being an employer or manager or supervisor in charge of the officer/organisation or a factory or establishment or any other work place or any other employee or any other person shall indulge or caused to be indulged in sexual harassment of women employees.


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