Inquiry and report on a complaint within 45 days; guilty will face criminal charges

To coincide with Law Day, Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam on Tuesday constituted a 10-member Gender Sensitisation and Internal Complaints Committee (GSICC) in the Supreme Court to receive and decide complaints against sexual harassment. It will be headed by Justice Ranjana Desai.

A complaint has to be inquired into and the report acted upon by the committee within 45 days. If found guilty, an advocate would be barred from entering the court premises for a period that can extend up to a year, besides facing – depending upon the nature of offence – criminal charges.

Sixteen years ago, the Supreme Court, in the Visakha judgment, laid down the definition of sexual harassment, preventive measures and redress mechanisms. Its guidelines mandated the setting up of committees in every organisation and institution.