New Delhi, Feb. 26 (PTI): Parliament today passed a bill under which cases of sexual harassment at workplace will have to be disposed of by in-house committees within 90 days, failing which will attract a fine of Rs 50,000.
Repeated violations of provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill can lead to higher penalties and cancellation of licences or registration.
The bill makes it mandatory for offices, hospitals, institutions and other workplaces to have an internal redressal mechanism for complaints related to sexual harassment.
It also brings in its ambit domestic helps, who it defines as women employed to do household work for remuneration in cash or kind, and agriculture labour, both organised and unorganised sectors.
The bill, already passed by the Lok Sabha, was today unanimously passed in the Rajya Sabha, with women and child development minister Krishna Tirath promising to follow up the legislation with strict rules for its implementation.
According to the act, sexual harassment includes unwelcome behaviour such as physical contact and advances, a demand or request for sexual favours or making sexually coloured remarks or showing pornography.
It also has provisions for safeguard against false or malicious charges.