Bihar tops list in sexual harassment cases at workplace

New Delhi: The maximum number of cases pertaining to sexual harassment of women at workplaces across the country have been reported from Bihar in the 2014-16 period, the Ministry of Women and Child Development informed Parliament on Thursday.

The ministry has culled the numbers from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. The latest data – under the category ‘insult to the modesty of women at office premises’ – available with the NCRB is for the year 2016. Among major states, Punjab, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir have not recorded a single case between 2014 and 2016.

Bihar had not recorded a single case of sexual harassment at workplace in the years 2014 and 2015. All 73 cases were recorded in the year 2016.

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As per the reply submitted by Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani, a total number of 318 cases of sexual harassment at workplaces were reported across the country during the time period.

The national capital territory of Delhi reported 56 cases between 2014 and 2016 while Maharashtra and Telengana recorded 48 and 45 cases, respectively.

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013 mandates all workplaces having more than 10 workers to constitute internal committees for receiving complaints of sexual harassment of women.

“The Act casts an obligation upon all the employers to constitute internal committees and for inquiry to be completed in a sensitive and time-bound manner … There is no centralized mechanism to collect data related to internal committees and of the cases of sexual harassment looked into by such committees,” the ministry has said in its reply.

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