All courts to have anti-sexual harassment panels: Apex Court

RSTV Bureau
File Photo of Dipak Misra, Chief Justice of India.

File Photo of Dipak Misra, Chief Justice of India.

The Supreme Court on Friday asked chief justices or acting chief justices of all high courts to set up anti-sexual harassment committees in courts across the country within two months in accordance with a 2013 law.

It also requested Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal of the Delhi High Court to constitute the panel in the high court and in all district courts in the national capital within a week.

The top court’s order came on a petition filed by a practising woman advocate who alleged that she was assaulted by some lawyers observing a strike at the Tis Hazari district court complex.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, asked the woman lawyer and the Bar leaders to amicably settle their disputes and directed that advocates from both sides should not be arrested in connection with the two cross FIRs filed by them against each other.

The bench also asked the crime branch of Delhi Police to investigate the cross complaints filed by the lawyers.

Meanwhile, the trials, which would arise from the two cross FIRs, have also been transferred to the Patiala House district court in New Delhi. It also asked the Bar leaders not to interfere with the administration of justice.

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013 requires every workplace to set up committees to probe sexual harassment complaints.

(With inputs from PTI)