POSH Act: PIL Disposed For Establishment Of ICC In All Educational Institutions

The Karnataka High Court in the case Kreetams Pro Bono And Centre For Legal Research And Ministry of Secondary and Primary Education & ANR observed and has disposed of the Public Interest Litigation wherein seeking direction from the State Department of Primary and Secondary Education in order to issue circulars wherein it mandated all educations institutes to establish an internal complaint committee, ICC in the light of Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, POSH Act.

The Division bench comprising of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice M G S Kamal in the case observed and has disposed of the plea moved by Kreetams Pro Bono and Centre for Legal Research. The court in the case relied on Aureliano Fernandes vs State Of Goa, wherein the Supreme Court held and issued a slew of directions to fulfil the promise that the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Act holds out to working women all over the country. Therefore, the court also directed the Union of India, State Governments and Union Territories to file compliance reports within the period of 8 weeks.

Therefore, It has also been informed by the Deputy Solicitor General H Shanthi Bhushan to the court that the Apex Court in this detailed judgment took into consideration the various factors and the court has considered the issue comprehensively.

The High Court stated with regards to the directions of the Apex court and further direction to Union of Indian, State Government or Union Territories for submitting the reply in stipulated period as the said court did not find any reason to entertain the PIL.

In the present case, the petitioner had approached the court following an article published on social media platform under the caption, The Majority of Public Schools in India don’t have means to prevent, Combat Child Sexual Abuse.

It has also been claimed by the petitioner in the PIL that the article disclosed certain disturbing facts in relation to the educational institutes and thus strictly adherence to the circular which is issued by the State government in July in the year 2014.

The bench in the case observed and went through the circular and has noted that the circular is divided into sub-heads wherein it focused on various issues such as responsibilities of parents and responsibility of heads of Institutions and Private school Management committees, the child safety protection and action plan; action to be taken by the police department, maintenance of the school vehicles.

Thus, the said circular also emphasized on the point that the crimes related to children are to be treated with utmost seriousness and with sensitivity and the circular also refers to various Acts of sexual abuses which relates to children under Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Act and severe punishment to the guilty person.

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