New Delhi, July 18: The Supreme Court has finally granted extension of the Vishaka verdict to the women in courts, much to the triumph of women advocates who have been campaigning in favour of such a law in courts for the past 16-years.
This comes as an irony since the apex court itself had issued the path-breaking Vishakha judgement, mandating all institutions employing more than 10 employees, to have a body or a committee to deter sexual harassment at work place.
However, this law could not be extended to the women in court as they were not considered the direct employees of the same. But things worsened and went beyound control when an incident in Delhi HC (earlier this year) caught an official peeping into the women's toilet and clicking pictures with a camera on his cellphone.
Aggravated by the indifference of the seniors in court, the women advocates stepped up pressure on the apex to implement the Vishakha law in courts too, with advocates Vibha Datta Makhija and Binu Tamta filing a writ petition.
Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir responded promptly by requesting renowned lawyer Fali Nariman to head a committee to draft the anti-sexual harassment guidelines. The Nariman Committee submitted its recommendations on Wednesday, which was promptly accepted by a CJI-led bench.
The seven-member Nariman committee has just two male members, Fali Nariman and Anand Grover, in sync with the regulations that the bench should be female-dominated. The other members included advocates Indu Malhotra, petitioners Makhija and Tamta, Meenakshi Arora and Asha Menon.