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Supreme Court directs appointment of District Officer in each State/UT for effective implementation of POSH Act

The Supreme Court has directed all States and Union Territories in the country to appoint a District Officer for effective implementation of the Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 read with its Rules.

The Bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Dipankar Datta on Friday noted that though Section 5 says that the appropriate Government may notify a District Magistrate or Additional District Magistrate or the Collector or Deputy Collector as a District Officer, the Court read this as a mandatory condition.

It said treating Section 5 as directory would leave a gaping hole in the otherwise clearly delineated workflow and redressal mechanism and the efficacy of this legislation, as a result, would fall flat.

The Apex Court passed a slew of directions to the Union government, along with all state governments and UT administrations on a writ petition filed under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution by an organisation named ‘Initiatives For Inclusion Foundation’ seeking effective implementation of provisions of the POSH Act.

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