The proposed Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill has been widely lambasted by the media and citizenry alike as unconstitutional and clumsily worded piece of legislation, the implementation of which is said to lead to wide spread abuse of this law in the workplaces leading to an extortion industry forming in the workplaces. Some people with vested interest while drafting this law have tried to incorporate sections in the law restricting the use of the RTI Act.
By Rajesh vakharia : It has come to our notice that an inter-ministerial group has been formed to review the provisions of the draft legislation of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill. The objective of this representation is to make your department aware of strong concerns of the public and press on the proposed highly controversial Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill.
This representation is a humble effort to bring to the notice of your organisation that Section 14 and Section 15 of the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, if allowed to remain in the Bill, will lead to gross violation of the Right to Information Act and will be an example of trampling democracy and transparency.
Section 14 and Section 15 will lead to gross violation of the RTI Act
Section 14 and Section 15 puts blockage on the use of RTI Act in the above Billwhich is undemocratic and unconstitutional and any organisation, which approves the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill without having an open debate on these sections may also be unknowingly committing a grave violation of the democratic principles of the country. The proposed sections namely Section 14 and Section 15 are not at all required as adequate provisions are available under RTI Act 2005, for exemption in the case of inquiry proceedings and personal information.
Under Section 8 of RTI Act, 2005, information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders need not be given to any citizens. Information which relates to personal information, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest or which would cause unwanted invasion of the privacy of the individuals need not be given unless the Public Information Officer (PIO) / Appellate Authority, as the case may be is satisfied that the large public interest justifies disclosure of such information.
It has come to our notice that some people with vested interests have started a dedicated attempt
to retain Section 14 and Section 15 and are also trying to pressuring many organisation to do the same. This sort of forcible arm twisting by these people are evidence enough that they themselves are aware of the wrongs of the undemocratic piece of legislation that they have created. These few ideologues are hell bent on killing the RTI Act , which has being hailed as one of the best pieces of legislation that India has every created
In a report published by the Transparency International, it was found that India’s corruption index showed a marked decline and the single-most reason for the drop in corruption in government was attributed to the Right to Information Act. The RTI Act which has been hailed as a beacon of democracy in India many a times by the Honourable Prime Minister and Leader of the UPA Mrs Sonia Gandhi cannot be allowed to be trampled in such a manner by some people having vested interest.
Do not Support the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill in its present form and shoot up India’s Corruption Index
I would therefore strongly demand that Section 14 and Section 15 of the proposed Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill be deleted so that fundamental right of a citizens as enshrined in our Constitution are upheld and at the same time it does not violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Thanks and Regards,