1Who can make a complaint?
A woman who has faced sexual harassment at the workplace can make a complaint.
2To whom should the complaint be made?
- If the organization has an Internal Complaints Committee, the victim should make a complaint to such committee. All organizations with more than 10 people are supposed to set up these Committees.
- If the organization has not set up an Internal Complaints Committee, the victim should make a complaint to the Local Complaints Committee. Unfortunately, many State Governments have not fully set up these Committees, and information on who to contact has not been made public in most cases.
3By when should the complaint made?
The victim should make the complaint within three months of the incident. If there has been more than one incident, the complaint should be made within three months of the date of the last incident.
4Can this time be extended?
Yes, the Internal or Local Complaints Committees can extend this if they find that the victim could not have made the complaint earlier. This time limit cannot extend beyond another three months.
5How should the complaint be made?
The complaint should be made in writing. In case the complaint cannot be made in writing, the members of the Committee must help the victim in writing down the complaint.
For example, if the woman is illiterate and does not have access to a trustworthy scribe who will write the complaint, she can approach the Committee and the Committee should ensure that the complaint is properly recorded.
6Can someone else file the complaint on behalf of the victim?
- If the victim is physically unable to make the complaint (for example, if she is unconscious), her relative or friend, her co- worker, any person who knows of the incident and who has taken the consent of the victim, or any officer of the National or State Commissions for Women can make the complaint.
- If the victim is not in a mental state to file a complaint, her relative or friend, her special educator, her psychiatrist/psychologist, her guardian, or any person who is taking care of her can make the complaint. Also, anyone who knows of the incident can make the complaint jointly with any of the people mentioned earlier.
- If the victim is dead, any person who knows of the incident can make the complaint with the consent of her legal heir.