Do’s for Internal Committee constituting under Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (PP&R) Act, 2013:
*Create Awareness on the presence of the Internal Committee and make known complaint procedures
*Treat the complainant with respect
*Ensure that the body language of each member communicates complete attention to the complainant and the respondent
*Reject set ideas and stereotypes on how the complainant or respondent should appear or act
*Be open to the fact that sexual crimes are committed in privacy and eye witnesses may not be existing or forthcoming
*Ensure safety for witnesses, friends and supporters of the complainant. Must handle complaints in a confidential manner and within a time-bound framework
*Understand that it is difficult for a woman to talk about anything sexual. Hence there can be long time interval between the harassment and the actual complaint.
*Understand that only one out of many may be subjected to sexual harassment. The complainant, when she complaints, has at stake her personal life and career. Therefore, drawing up similarities or generalization should be avoided.
Don’ts for Internal Committee constituting under Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (PP&R) Act, 2013:
*Do not guide or lead the complainant to make statements.
*Do not insist on a detailed description of harassment. This could increase the complainant’s trauma.
*Do not interrupt or allow interruptions when conversing with the complainant and/or respondent.
*Do not determine the impact of the harassment on the complainant. *Do not, under any circumstances, get aggressive.
*Do not discuss the complainant in the presence of the respondent & vice-versa.
*Do not allow third parties to enter the room-be it for tea/refreshments. Stop proceedings when such things are taking place.
*Remember, this is a human rights issue, therefore,
(a) Do not give too much weightage to intention, focus on the impact, and
(b) Proof beyond reasonable doubt is not required, circumstantial evidence is enough.