Cases related to sexual harassment of women at the workplace will be heard in-camera or in the judge's chambers, the Bombay High Court stated in its new set of guidelines, terming it as a 'working protocol' for future orders.
The guidelines released on Friday, September 24, are first-of-its-kind formulated by a High Court, related to conducting hearings, passing and uploading orders, reportage on cases of sexual harassment of women at the workplace, NDTV reported.
The single-judge bench of Justice Gautam Patel said that the cases dealt with would be under the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (POSH Act), 2013, will only be heard in-camera or in the judge's chambers.
The judgements will not be available on the official website, and therefore, the media can publish reports only after receiving prior approval from the Court, it added.
Justice Patel said there weren't any 'established guidelines' till now to deal with such cases. Hence, the guidelines would work in favour.
Breaching the guidelines would qualify as contempt of Court. Both sides, all parties and advocates, as witnesses, are forbidden from disclosing the contents of any order.
"It is imperative to protect the identities of the parties from disclosure in these proceedings. This is in the interest of both sides," the media quoted the Court's order.
In addition, records of cases will be maintained in sealed envelopes and will not be issued to any person without permission.