HC takes up ‘casting couch’ issue

Seeks details of grievance mechanisms in Telugu film industry

The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday passed an order to issue notices to Telangana Film Development Corporation, Telangana Film Chamber of Commerce and Telangana State Commission for Women to secure details of the mechanisms available to woman artistes and workers in Telugu film industry over sexual harassment.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice V. Ramasubramanian gave the direction after hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition over the issue .

The bench directed the counsels for Telangana State and Home Department to secure instructions on systems put in place so that woman artistes can seek justice in cases of sexual harassment at work places.

The petitioners appealed to the bench to declare the inaction of the State government illegal over petitions seeking constitution of a high-level committee to inquire into complaints of women facing sexual harassment.

Activists of woman rights, lawyers with good track record and representatives of woman artistes should be made members of the committee. It should suggest measures and mechanisms for the safety of woman artistes and workers, the counsel for the petitioners Vasudha Nagaraj said. The bench said there cannot be any relation between the revenue and the woman safety when the lawyer said the government was failing to provide any safety systems for women artistes despite the film industry securing huge revenues.

When the counsel for the government said internal committees were constituted at all places of work, the bench said how can that be a foolproof solution against sexual exploitation.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 3:21:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/hc-takes-up-casting-couch-issue/article24983790.ece

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