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Ensure sexual abuse victims at workplace aren’t subjected to vendetta: Centre

New Delhi: To prevent aggrieved women from being victimised in cases of sexual harassment at work places, the Centre has asked all ministries and departments to ensure that they are not posted under the accused or any other person where she may be subjected to harassment.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) also said in proven cases of sexual harassment, for a period of five years, a watch should be kept to ensure that the victim is not subjected to vendetta.

“It should be ensured that the aggrieved women are not victimised in connection with the complaints filed by them… In case of any victimisation, the complainant may submit a representation to the Secretary in the case of Ministries or Departments and Head of the Organisation in other cases,” the DoPT order said.

These representations should be dealt with sensitivity, in consultation with the complaints committees, ministries or departments and heads of the departments. And a decision should be taken within 15 days of the submission.

The order came following a meeting of Minister of Women and Child Development with the DoPT where concerns were raised over the undue delay in completion of inquiries in such cases.

“Any inquiry in cases of sexual harassment of women at the work place should be completed within one month and no probe should take more than 90 days, the permissible time limit prescribed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013” it said.

The Ministries and Departments have been directed to include information related to the number of such cases and their disposal in their annual reports.

They have also been directed to furnish the details of number of complaints received, disposed and action taken in a monthly report to the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

PTI