The Bombay High Court has issued a stringent set of guidelines for hearing, dealing. Reporting on cases related to sexual harassment of women at the workplace. They said Nobody can report on media without prior approval. Justice GS Patel passed an order to protect the interest of both accused and victim parties in such cases.
The guidelines related to conducting hearings, passing, and uploading of orders. Reportage on cases of sexual harassment of women at the workplace is some of the first such norms -The HC.
In most modern legal contexts, sexual harassment is illegal. Laws surrounding sexual harassment generally do not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or minor isolated incidents. It is due to the fact that they do not impose a “general civility code”. In the workplace, harassment is considered illegal when it is frequent or severe thereby creating a hostile or offensive work environment. When it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim’s demotion, firing, or quitting). The legal and social understanding of sexual harassment, however, varies by culture.
Sexual harassment by an employer is a form of illegal employment discrimination. For many businesses or organizations, preventing sexual harassment and defending employees from sexual harassment charges have become key goals of legal decision-making.
In a detailed order passed on Friday, a bench of Justice Gautam Patel said that henceforth-. All proceedings under the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, 2013, will hear in-camera, judge’s chambers. They can’t upload on a court’s website, and the press will not report on a judgment passed under the Act without the court’s permission, the HC said.
Justice Patel said there did not exist any “established guidelines” so far for such matters. Therefore, issued a “working protocol” for all future cases. Breach of the guidelines or publishing the parties’ names or, revealing their identities. Even if such information already exists in the public domain, will amount to contempt of court.
“Both sides and all parties and advocates, as also witnesses, are forbidden from disclosing the contents of any order, judgment, or files to the media. Publishing any such material in any mode means, including social media, without specific leave of the court,”The order reads.
“It is imperative, therefore, to protect the identities of the parties from disclosure, even accidental disclosure, in these proceedings. This is in the interest of both sides. No guidelines so far in such matters,” the HC said.
“This order, setting out a working protocol for future orders. Hearings, and case file management, is the first endeavor in that direction,” it said.
The guidelines further mandate that they will maintain all records of such cases in sealed envelopes and will not be issued to any person without the permission of the court.
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