Revisit law to fix deadline for filing sexual harassment complaint: Justice Singh

The Delhi High Court on Thursday imposed a blanket ban on the media publishing or telecasting news stories connected with the sexual harassment charge levelled by a law intern against the retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Swatanter Kumar.

The allegations, relating to May 2011, were brought to the notice of Chief Justice of India Justice P. Sathasivam by the intern in an affidavit on November 13 last.

The High Court suggested revisiting the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 to fix a deadline for filing a complaint.

“ … there should be a limitation of time for the purpose of filing of such complaints, otherwise no one would know when the complaint ought to have been filed and decided. Thus, a balanced approach has to be taken, particularly, in these types of matters,” Justice Manmohan Singh said.

He passed the restraint order on the media on a civil defamation suit filed by Justice Kumar against The Indian Express, Times Now, CNN-IBN and the intern, seeking damages of Rs.5 crore or any higher amount.

However, the court allowed the media to report court cases and happenings as facts on the basis of correct and verified information.

The court directed the news media to delete the offending content from the Internet or other electronic media within 24 hours.

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