Kerala High Court Advocates Association passes resolution to constitute ICC for sexual harassment complaints

On Tuesday, the KHCAA General Body unanimously approved a resolution proposed by Advocate Boby M Sekhar and 117 others.

The Kerala High Court Advocates’ Association unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday; to form an Internal Complaints Committee to handle sexual harassment complaints in accordance with the; Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013.

KHCAA President Rajesh Vijayan began his address at the Extra Ordinary General Body Meeting earlier today by stating that; the Executive Committee members are unanimous and steadfast in their support for the proposal to form an ICC.

He went on to say that in Medha Kotwal Lele v. Union of India, the Supreme Court directed the Bar Council of India to draught rules within two months, taking into account the guidelines established in Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan.

“The General Body of the KHCAA unanimously resolved it. It also decided to form a committee to study the resolution and make recommendations for changes to the Association’s bylaws.”

The resolution, proposed by Advocate Boby M Sekhar and 117 others, highlights the fact that; the number of female lawyers and women’s contributions to the legal profession have increased significantly over the years. Women in the legal profession, on the other hand; face the same obstacles as women in any other workplace, including sexual harassment and abuse.

The POSH Act requires the establishment of an institutional ICC for the prevention, prohibition, and redressal of sexual harassment in the workplace. The ICC has the authority to mediate settlements between parties through conciliation proceedings, and if these are not reached, to launch an investigation into the matter.

“With regard to the Constitutional right to gender equality and the right to practise profession” The resolution stated, “It is imperative to formulate a mechanism aimed at; preventing sexual harassment of women in the legal profession”.

It  argued that;  despite the fact that the KHCAA  established to protect and serve the interests of the legal profession, no effective steps have been taken to date to establish a permanent ICC to address the grievances of women lawyers.

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