Have the Kerala local bodies formed any anti-harassment committee?
Applications were filed with different local civic bodies in Kerala under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to know whether they had constituted anti-sexual harassment committees as was made mandatory by a Supreme Court order.
The reply to the application shows that majority of local bodies, including the municipal corporations of Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, haven’t set up such committees. The response from the three municipal corporations says that they are in the process of forming committee whereas many local bodies are yet to respond to the query. In Ernakulam district, Thripunithura Municipality said that it has set up the committee while replies from Angamali, Kalamassery, Thrikkakara and Marad municipalities denied forming the committee.
The applicant said that the Supreme Court had made the formation of internal complaints committees to deal with allegations of sexual harassment mandatory in its 1997 order. However, he claimed that there is general lack of awareness about the order and the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.