The sexual harassment of women at workplace (prevention, prohibition and redressal) Act 2013


Status as on- 29/01/2022 


The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (for brevity – POSH Act) was enacted as per the guidelines and directions issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in “Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan (1997),” with the sole purpose of upliftment of the women by providing a safe working environment to the women at the workplace. The POSH Act is a gender-biased law enacted with the intention to fill the vacuum in the existing legislation by safeguarding the rights of women under Article 14, 15, and 21 of the Constitution of India.

Working of the POSH Act –

Under the POSH Act, namely two committees are formed to handle the grievances –

  1. Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) – It is the duty of every organization to constitute such a committee where the number of employees is more than 10,under Section 4(1) of the POSH Act.
  2. Local Committee – Local Committee is constituted by the District Officerunder Section 6 (1) of the POSH Act to deal with the matters wherein the complaint about sexual harassment is in the organization where the number of employees is less than 10, or if the complaint is against the employer itself.

The ICC is constituted at the organization level whereas the Local Committee is constituted at the state level (in every ward or municipality). Any aggrieved woman can report the incident before the ICC or to the Local Committeewithin 3 months (subject to the justification of delay) as the case may be. These committees initially try to get the disputes resolved by organizing conciliation sessions between both parties but it has to be ensured that such settlement is not made in monetary terms. If both the party agree with the settlement, then such settlement is being recorded in writing and then the same is also forwarded to the District Officer appointed under the POSH Act.

In case the settlement is not made by the abovementioned process or a prima facie case exists then such case is being transferred within 7 days to the Police for registration of the case under Section 509 (Intending to insult the modesty of any Women) along with relevant provisions of IPC as per the facts of the case.

Rights/Benefits to Aggrieved Women under POSH Act –

The following benefits can be claimed by the aggrieved women under the POSH Act by approaching the Internal Committee or the Local Committee –

  1. By submitting a written request before Internal Committee or the Local Committee request for the following can be made –
  2. Transfer of aggrieved woman or the respondent to any other workplace
  3. Grant leave to the aggrieved woman up to a period of three months (Such leave granted shall be in addition to the Regular Leaves)
  4. Notwithstanding anything under the Right to Information Act, 2005 the Identity of the aggrieved women shall not be revealed to the public.


The sole purpose of the POSH Act is to provide a safe working environment to the women at the workplace. And in case of infringement of their rights, it provides for the remedies as of which any women can approach the Internal Complaint Committee or the Local Committee to report the incident and it is the duty of the committee to take appropriate action upon reporting of any such event.

Disclaimer: The above article is based on the personal interpretation of the related orders and laws. The readers are expected to take expert opinion before relying upon the article. For more information, please contact us at

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