To implement the salient features of the “Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal)Act 2013 in RV Institutions wide the circular no.RSST/POSH /Feb-2016/49/2/15-16 dated Feb 1st 2016 ,the institution were advised to form Internal complaints Committee(POSH) with senior level female employee as chairperson & minimum of two members amongst the employees committed to the cause of women & one member from NGO/Associatation committed to the cause of Women.
Internal Complaints Committee was established on 24/03/2016 at RV College of Nursing with five members committee which includes residential warden & senior employees of the institution. Mrs Shubha S Advocate is appointed as External Member to the committee.
Members of POSH Committee
|Name of Member||Position held|
|Mrs Mamata N||Chairperson|
|Mrs Sheela J||Committee Member|
|Mrs Veena K||Committee Member|
|Mrs Uma G S||Committee Member|
|Mrs Gauthami H||Committee Member|
|Mrs Shubha S||Committee Member|
Functions of POSH
- Implementation of the Anti–Sexual Harassment Policy at the workplace
- Submit an Annual Report (Including details like the number of case files at their disposal, etc.)
- Bring about awareness about what comprises ‘sexual harassment’ at the workplace by way of workshops, posters, documents, notices, seminars, etc.
- Publicize the policy framework effectively
- Provide the victims with a safe and accessible mechanism of complaint
- Initiation of inquiry at the earliest
- Redress the complaints in a judicious manner
- Provide interim relief to the complainant
- Provide an opportunity for conciliation wherever possible
- Stick to the principles of natural justice at all stages of the proceedings
- Whenever required, forward the complaint to the police
- Submit the inquiry report along with recommendations
- Maintain confidentiality in regard to the proceedings taking place before the Committee
The complaint can be filed by the following persons:
- The aggrieved woman herself.
- In the case of Physical Incapacity: Complainant’s Relative, Complainant’s Friend, Co-Worker, Officer of NCW or SCW, or Any person who has knowledge of the incident with the written consent of the Complainant.
- In case of Mental Incapacity: Complainant’s Relative, Complainant’s Friend, Special Educator, Qualified Psychiatrist/Psychologist, Guardian/ Authority under whose care the complainant is receiving treatment/care or Any person with the knowledge of the incident, jointly with any person mentioned above.
- In Case of Complainant’s Death: Any person having the knowledge of the incident with the written consent of the Legal heir.
- In Case of Complainant is unable to file the Complaint about any other reason: By any person who has the knowledge of the incident with the written consent of the Complainant.
Specified Time Period
The POSH Act lays down specific guidelines about the timeline for a complaint of such sexual harassment cases and specifies that it can be filed within 3 months from the date of the incident.
In case it is not a single but a series of incidents, then the complaint needs to be filed within 3 months from the date of the last incident.
The POSH Act further provides that the time period of 3 months may be extended by the Committee after recording the reasons for doing so.
- Six copies of the complaint are to be filed
- Supporting documents and evidence, details of witnesses
- Details of the incident
- Details of respondent
The written complaint should contain a description of each incident(s) & must include:
- Relevant Date/s
- Timing/s & Location/s
- Name of Respondent/s
- The working relationship between the parties
Timeline of the Complaint
1) Submission of Complaint-Within 3 months of the last incident
2) Notice to the Respondent-Within 7 days of receiving a copy of the complaint
3) Completion of Inquiry-Within 90 days
4) Submission of Report-Within 10 days of completion of the inquiry
5) Implementation of Recommendations-Within 60 days
6) Appeal-Within 90 days of the recommendation
Powers of the Internal Complaints Committee
Sec 11(3) of the POSH Act enumerates the powers of the Internal Complaints Committee. The ICC is vested with the powers of a Civil Court under the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 in the following:
1) It is entitled to initiate an inquiry into the complaint of a sexual harassment incident at the workplace
2) It can summon witnesses and parties before the committee to give a statement
3) It can assert its powers and summon evidence to be examined if it is deemed necessary to do so by the Committee
Once the inquiry is completed and if the Internal Complaint Committee finds the person guilty, it is well within its right to prescribe the following actions:
- a) Initiate action against the culprit in accordance with the service rules of the organization.
- b) In the absence of service rules, it can take actions like a warning, community service, withholding promotion, termination, etc.
- c) It can deduct from the salary of the respondent as compensation to be paid to aggrieved women.
The POSH Act also lays down the criteria based on which the Internal Complaints Committee shall calculate the amount of compensation payable. The factors are:
1) The extent of pain, suffering mental trauma, and emotional distress caused to the aggrieved woman.
2) Loss in a career opportunity for the victim resulting from the incident of sexual harassment.
3) Medical expenses incurred by the complainant towards the physical and/or psychiatric treatment due to this incident.
4) Last but not the least, the alleged perpetrator’s Income and status.
All such payment can be awarded to the victim of sexual harassment as a lump sum or in instalments, as is considered judicious by the ICC.
In case the respondent fails to pay the amount of compensation, the ICC shall forward the case to the District Officer for the amount to be recovered as an arrear of land revenue.