Vishaka Committee

 

In view of the Section 4 (1) of ‘The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013’, the Institution hereby constitutes an Internal Complaints Committee (hereinafter referred to as ‘Internal Committee’ or ‘Committee’).

       1. Preamble

Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act,2013 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘act’) requires every employer of a workplace shall, by an order in writing, constitute a Committee to be known as the ‘Internal Complaints

Committee’ and abide by such act. In due compliance of the act, the P.B. College of Engineering (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Institution’) has adopted the following policy formulated in accordance with Notification issued by Ministry of Law and Justice dated

      2. Applicability & Scope

This policy extends to all the categories of employees of the Institution employees on contract at the workplace.

      3. Definitions

Sexual Harassment at workplace:

For this purpose, sexual harassment includes such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) as:

i. Physical contact and advances;

ii. A demand or request for sexual favours;

iii. Sexually coloured remarks;

iv. Showing pornography;

v. Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature where any of these acts is committed in circumstances where-under the victim of such conduct has a reasonable apprehension that in relation to the victim’s employment or work whether she is drawing salary, or honorarium or voluntary, whether in government, public or private enterprise such conduct can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem. It is discriminatory for instance when the woman has reasonable grounds to believe that her objection would disadvantage her in connection with her employment or work including recruiting or promotion or when it creates a hostile work environment. Adverse consequences might be visited if the victim does not consent to the conduct in question or raises any objection thereto.

Word and Expressions used and not defined in this policy shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, as amended from time to time.

      4. Responsibilities

All individuals must follow this policy and shall coordinate for effective implementation of this policy.

      5. Purpose of the policy

P.B. College of Engineering wishes to maintain a work environment that fosters personal and professional growth for all employees. Maintaining such an environment is the responsibility of every staff person. The Institution is committed to provide a harassment- free environment for its employees and volunteers. Mutual respect, along with cooperation and understanding, must be the basis of interaction between members and staff. The Institution will neither tolerate nor condone behaviour that is likely to undermine the dignity or self-esteem of an individual, or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

All the employee of the Institution has a personal responsibility to ensure that their behaviour is not contrary to this policy. All employees are encouraged to reinforce the maintenance of a work environment free from sexual harassment.

Dissemination of the Policy

A copy of this Policy shall be given to all employees and to all new joinees and they shall sign a statement acknowledging that they have received, read, understood and will abide by the Policy.

       6.Composition of the Internal Complaint Committee

The Committee shall consist of the following members:

 

 

Role of Internal Committee:

a) The Committee shall decide whether the facts contained in the complaint make out a case of “sexual harassment” in light of the definition contained in the Policy.

b) The Committee shall look into the truth of the allegations contained in the complaint.

c) The Committee shall look into the truth of any allegation of retaliation against / victimization of the complainant or any other person assisting her as a result of such  complaint having been made or such assistance having been offered.

d) The Committee shall recommend the penalties / action to be taken against any person found guilty of having sexually harassed the complainant, up to and including termination, to the Management.

e) The Committee shall recommend the penalties / action to be taken against any person found guilty of having retaliated against / victimized the complainant or any other person assisting her as a result of such complaint having been made or such assistance having been offere

f) The Committee shall recommend appropriate psychological, emotional and physical support (counselling, security and other assistance) for the victim to the Management.

g) The Committee shall monitor the follow-up action to be taken by the Management on receipt of the Report of the Committee.

     8. Objective of Committee:

The objectives of the Committee are:

a) Prevent discrimination and sexual harassment against women, by promoting gender amity among students and employees;

b) Make recommendations to the Management for changes/elaborations in the Rules for students in the Prospectus and the Bye-Laws, to make them gender just and to lay down procedures for the prohibition, resolution, settlement and prosecution of acts of discrimination and sexual harassment against women.

c) Deal with cases of discrimination and sexual harassment against women, in a time bound manner, aiming at ensuring support services to the victimized and termination of the harassment;

d) Recommend appropriate punitive action against the guilty party to the

Documentation:

The committee shall keep complete and accurate documentation of the complaint, its investigations and the resolution thereof. The incident would be documented in both the complainant’s and the accused files with the full report of the Complaints Committee.

       9. Procedure for Approaching Committee

The Committee deals with issues relating to sexual harassment at the P.B. College of Engineering. It is applicable to all Employees. A complaint of discrimination or sexual harassment may be lodged by the victim or a third party. A written complaint may be addressed to the Chairman of the Committee. If the complaint is made to any of the Committee members, they may forward it to the Chairman of the Committee against Sexual Harassment.

Here it should be noted that according to the Supreme Court guideline Sexual harassment can be defined as “unwelcome” sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) as:

  • Physical contact and advances;
  • Demand or request for sexual favours;
  • Sexually coloured remarks;
  • Showing pornography; and
  • Other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature. (Vishaka judgment by Supreme Court)

      10. Redressal of Complaints:

The Institute is committed to providing a supportive environment to resolve concern sexual harassment as under:

a) When an incident of sexual harassment occurs, the victim of such conduct can communicate their disapproval and objections immediately to the harasser and request the harasser to behave decently.

b) If the harassment does not stop or if victim is not comfortable with addressing the harasser directly, the victim can bring their concern to the attention of the Committee for redressal of their grievance

c) In the event, the complaint does not fall under the purview of Sexual Harassment or the complaint does not mean an offence of Sexual Harassment, the same would be dropped after recording the reasons thereof.

d) In case the complaint is found to be false, the Complainant shall, if deemed fit, be liable for appropriate disciplinary action by the Committee.

e) The management shall provide all necessary assistance for the purpose of ensuring full, effective and speedy implementation of this policy.

f) Where sexual harassment occurs as a result of an act or omission by any third party or outsider, the Committee shall take all steps necessary and reasonable to assist the affected person in terms of support and preventive ac

Disciplinary Action:

Where any misconduct is found by the Committee, appropriate disciplinary action shall be taken against the accused. Disciplinary action may include transfer, withholding promotion, suspension or even dismissal or any other action as may deem fit by the Committee. This action shall be in addition to any legal recourse sought by the Complainant.

Confidentiality:

All information received shall be kept confidential. Any person (including witnesses) who breaches confidentiality shall be subject to disciplinary action.

Protection against retaliation:

Regardless of the outcome of the complaint made in good faith, the employee lodging the complaint and any person providing information or any witness, will be protected from any form of retaliation. While dealing with complaints of sexual harassment, the committee shall ensure that the Complainant or the witness are not victimized or discriminated by the accused. Any unwarranted pressures, retaliatory or any other type of   unethical   behaviour   from   the   accused   against   the   complainant   while   the investigation is in progress should be reported by the complainant to the complaints committee as soon as possible. Disciplinary action will be taken by the Complaints Committee against any such complaints which are found genuine.

      11. Miscellaneous

All proceedings, including the statements and other material adduced as evidence before the Committee shall be strictly confidential. The Committee shall take all steps to ensure that the parties before it and their representatives shall maintain strict confidentiality in all respects.

a) The decision of the Committee on any matter within its competence shall be considered final and no appeal / challenge to the same shall lie to any person.

b) The Management shall scrutinize the report and recommendations of the Committee and take appropriate action against the guilty person in accordance with the Guidelines, Policy, and gravity of the behavior disclosed in the Committee’s report.

c) In case the conduct disclosed in the Committee’s report is of a nature that amounts to a criminal offence under the law of the land, appropriate action shall be initiated by the Management, for making a police complaint in respect of the same.

d) The Management shall scrutinize the report and recommendations of the Committee and take appropriate action to provide the victim with necessary psychological, emotional and physical support.

e) In case of sexual harassment of any woman employee by any person not employed by company, the Management shall take all steps necessary and reasonable to assist the affected woman employee in terms of providing her with psychological, emotional and physical support and enabling her to take recourse to the law.

     12. Quarterly & Annual Report:

The chairperson of committee shall furnish consolidated quarterly report after the meeting held by the committee members on every quarter with the below details

  • Number of cases,
  • Date of complain,
  • Allegation in brief,
  • Present status of case
  • Any order pass by the disciplinary authority with date
  • or if not, Nil report

The committee shall in each calendar year, prepare & submit report to the employer with the following details

  • Number of complaints of sexual harassment received in the year
  • Number of complaints disposed of during year
  • Number of cases pending
  • Submission of reports with no issue raised during the year.

 

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