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a) Sexual harassment has come to be widely condemned as a form of human rights violation, an infringement on life and liberty and a grave form of gender-based discrimination. Such behaviour is an affront to dignity, gender equality, and fundamental rights.
b) Sexual harassment is contrary to anti-discrimination provisions in the Constitution of India: Article 15: “Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth” and Article 19(1) (g): Right to Freedom which upholds a woman’s right “to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business”.
c) Sexual Harassment is an offence under The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 No. 14 of 2013. Section 3(1): No woman shall be subjected to sexual harassment at any workplace.” Section 19 Every employer shall- (a): provide a safe working environment at the workplace which shall include safety from the persons coming into contact at the workplace. Section 4(1): Every employer of a workplace shall, by an order in writing, constitute a Committee to be known as the “Internal Complaints Committee”.
The Supreme Court of India, in a landmark judgment in August 1997 (Vishaka & others vs. the State of Rajasthan & others) stated that every instance of sexual harassment is a violation of “Fundamental Rights” under Articles 14, 15, and 21 of the Constitution of India, and amounts to a violation of the “Right to Freedom” under Article 19 (1)(g). The Supreme Court further reiterated that sexual harassment “is a violation of the fundamental right to gender equality and the right to life and liberty”. Another Supreme Court Judgment in January 1999 (Apparel Export Promotion Council vs. Chopra) has stated that sexually harassing behaviour “needs to be eliminated as there is no compromise on such violations”.
d) Educational institutions are bound by the same Act (Section 2(o)”workplace” includes- . . (ii) any private sector organisation or a private venture, undertaking, enterprise, institution, establishment, society, trust, non-governmental organisation, unit or service provider carrying on commercial, professional, vocational, educational…. distribution or service.”) Following this, O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed To Be University) is committed to uphold the Constitutional mandate ensuring the above mentioned human rights of all those who fall within its jurisdiction. It is with this objective that these Rules have been framed.