New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear urgently a lawyer’s PIL seeking FIRs or action by the National Commission of Women (NCW) against all the accused persons in the #MeToo movement, reported ANI. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi,and Justice SK Kaul told lawyer ML Sharma, who had filed the petition, that it will come up for hearing in the regular course. (Also read: Editors’ Guild Asks Akbar to Withdraw Complaint)
Meanwhile, taking note of the plethora of #MeToo stories emerging from the media industry, the NCW has urged the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to direct all print, publication and production houses to form Internal Complaints Committee to probe complaints of sexual harassment at workplace. An NCW official said that in the past few days, the women rights body had received a number of complaints of sexual harassment at workplace against people in both traditional print organisations as well as digital media.
“We have informed the Secretary of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that the NCW has received a number of such complaints,” the official said. He said the NCW has requested the Secretary to issue directions to ensure that organisations such as printing/publishing, production houses involved in TV/film production put in place an effective mechanism for addressing such complaints including constituting Internal Committees in terms of the PoSH Act, 2013, she said. The NCW said perpetrators of such crimes need to be punished as per law. The NCW had recently said it had received written complaints from various women about sexual harassment at their workplace.
The commission had also created a dedicated email ID to receive such complaints and urged women who have come forward on social media and other platforms about their alleged harassers to send their formal written complaints to email@example.com.
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had mentioned how the ministry has reached out to the political parties, urging them to form ICCs. The #MeToo movement in India picked up after actor Tanushree Dutta returned from the US and repeated her accusations against veteran actor Nana Patekar, saying he harassed her during the shooting of a film in 2008.
Journalist-turned-politician MJ Akbar had to resign as the Minister of State for External Affairs last week following a spate of complaints by her former woman colleagues that he allegedly harassed them during his tenure as editor of various media publications. (With Agency Inputs)