Sexual harassment is any unwelcome act or behaviour, which can offend, humiliate or intimidate a person and it can be either express or implied. Sexual harassment is encountered at work, or events related to work like annual events, meetings etc. When a person is sexually harassed, it violates a person’s right to employment and encumberment of free work environment.

It is a violation of fundamental rights of a person as it violates the fundamental rights to practice and propagate any profession, occupation, trade or business given under Article 19 (1) g of the Constitution of India. It can be asserted that the sexual harassment at workplace violates the two cornerstones of the inviolable Fundamental rights i.e. right to live with dignity and right to occupation.
Various form and acts of sexual harassment Act can be referred: Types of sexual harassment.

Various form and acts of sexual harassment Act can be referred: Types of sexual harassment.


Three broad phases of law of Sexual harassment law in India:

Prior to 1997, women experiencing sexual harassment at workplace had to lodge a complaint under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code that deals with the ‘criminal assault of women to outrage women’s modesty’, and Section 509 that punishes an individual / individuals for using a ‘word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman. Section 354 only covered assault of women whinternal committeeh outrage her modesty but did not cover any instance towards any type of harassment whinternal committeeh is sexual in nature carried out at workplaces.

The second phase emerged Post “vishaka v/s State of Rajasthan” case, wherein Supreme Court laid down guiding principles for organization to follow which are known as Vishaka guidelines. Some of the main key guidelines are:

  • It is the onus of the employer to include a rule in the company code of conduct for preventing sexual harassment.
  • Organizations must establish complaint committees that are headed by women.
  • Initiate disciplinary actions against offenders and safeguard the interests of the victim.
  • Female employees shall be made aware of their rights.

With vishaka guidelines in place all organisations were required to adopt the guidelines and implement them at workpalce however, the implimentation was scarce as the guidelines were instructional and not mandatory and only a few handful organisation adopted to the same.

The third phase was the enactment of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, which are based on Vishaka guidelines. This Act focuses on protection of women against Sexual harassment acts at workplace, providing compliance, guidelines, prevention process and redressal mechanism. The third phase was also complimented by The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 which is also known as “Nirbhaya Act”. It brought various changes in Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act and Code of Criminal Procedure and added Section 354-A to Indian Penal Code, 1860 which deals upon offence related to Sexual Harassment of women at Workplace.


The term sexual harassment can be broadly categorized into 2 forms of sexual harassment:

Quid Pro Quo

This is generally termed as “This for that” wherein a person who is in…


This form of harassment has a wider scope of applicability and can be…

Quid Pro Quo

This is generally termed as “This for that” wherein a person who is in a position of seniority or authority over a women abuses his power to grant a favour in return of any form of request which is sexual in nature. This type of harassment is usually carried out by a person in control or supervision of victim’s employment and is considered as gravest form of sexual harassment


This form of harassment has a wider scope of applicability and can be verbal. Written, visual or physical. There have been quite an uncertainity as to applicability. “Does shouting at female employee amounts to sexual harassment?”, the answer to this question is no. An act to be termed as an act creating Hostile Working Envoirment for a victim ought to have a sexual overtone or of sexual in nature. Mere shouting at an employee does not amount to sexual harassment act if the nature of such act is not sexual in nature, however the same may be covered in code of conduct of the organization if they have a policy in regard to the same.



External members play a crucial role in Sexual harassment proceedings. Section 4(2) of Sexual harassment of women at workplace(Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 mandates for the appointment of external member and specifically lays down that the external member should be from an NGO or association or person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment, which in most cases are lawyers, as they are appraised about the Law and process. In fact, it is observed that most of the organization wants to appoint lawyers as their external members as they are familiar with the process and procedure as to how to deal with SH Complaint as an Internal Committee has the same powers that of a civil court and has to follow the same principle of natural justice as a judge would carry.

The major roles of an external member are as follows: –

  • Make employer understand the compliance.
  • Apprising the Internal Committee about what may or may not constitute Sexual Harassment.
  • Having deep knowledge of the Law and procedure specially the type of evidences which can be considered.
  • Should know the art of cross examination to assist the internal committee
  • Should be apprise about latest judgments on the said subjectto assist the internal committee
  • To assist the internal committee in determining whether the case is a false case or not by appreciting the evidences properly
  • To assist the internal committee in drafting of the final report whinternal committeeh is a form of judgement to the case
  • To assist the internal committee in addressing the queries of the employees on the subject of sexual harassment at workplace
  • Any other responsibility which is bestowed upon the Internal Committee of the organization

Cri-Tax-Corp is a law firm whose founder is also the legal director for Centre4POSH and work closely with Centre4POSH on the said subject. C4P in collaboration with Cri-Tax-Corp provides expert panel of lawyers on board who can act as an external member of organization and provide support in proper implementation of sexual harassment processes and procedure.


Organization is required to file compliance report stating the statistics of sexual harassment incident at their workplace. Centre4POSH helps companies to file such report in the proper format with the proper supporting documentation to ensure that the compliance is carried out in a just and rightful manner. Through our analytics dashboard we help organization to keep track of all the complaints filed, pending, resolved during the year and help you prepare your annual reports to be filed with appropriate authorities.


Centre4POSH provides extensive services for:

  • Expert training of INTERNAL COMMITTEE
  • External member support
  • Guidance on complaint filing process
  • Guidance for summoning of Respondent and the witnesses
  • Guidance for conciliation procedure
  • Support on  implementation measures
  • Support in art of cross examination
  • Appreciation of evidences
  • Support in how to link the evidences and the statements and applicability og principles of natural justice
  • Drafting of final report appreciating all the proceedings in the case.


Centre 4 POSH enterprise solution provides an exhaustive list of pre-defined templates which are required during the proceedings of a case and such documentation templates provide extensive support to Internal Committee. Internal Committee only needs to open the document, type in the requsite information and with one click all the required document can be shared with relevant people connected to the case such as Minutes of Meeting, reply to complaint, witness summoning, cross examination questioning all is provided as per the requirement of Internal Committee through our ackend panel.

C4P on engagement amends or drafts various documents which are important for implementation of SH Compliance such as:

  1. Appointment letter
  2. Sexual harassment Policy
  3. Minutes of meeting
  4. Witness summons
  5. Interim orders
  6. Cross-examination flowchart
  7. Final reports
  8. Code of Conduct
  9. HR Policies
  10. Training module
  11. Communication of process, procedure, penalties relating to SH at workplace via emails posters etc.