Sexual harassment at workplace has become a hot topic in the recent times and our legal system provides for a variety of laws to not just address it but also provide measures to aid the victims and prevent such acts in the future by punishing the guilty. Even though this topic is very common today, there are very few who choose to recognize it at its very basic level and raise their voice against it, or take a stand against it.
When an individual is s*xually harassed at their workplace they have a choice to file a complaint in person in a police station or even doing it in an oral manner or over a phone call. From here on, it is the duty of the police officer to register the complaint of the victim or action can be taken against them, this police officer must be a female. And the cases where the victim is not able to come to the police station because of the disability caused to her during the attack or the attempt then the complaint will be recorded in the choice of place of the victim or her house.
Discussing the query where an officer refuses to register a complaint against s*xual harassment, here the individual filing the complaint can approach the superintendent of the police of their district. Further, if it is the case where even the superintendent of police does not take action or register the complaint then this individual will have the right to approach the magistrate to seek a course of action or an order of investigation in the form of an affidavit. They should only approach the magistrate after they have approached the police.
Ahead of this, even if the magistrate does not take due actions and the police does not do anything, then the individual filing the complaint can move to the High Court by filing a writ petition and ask them to order investigation or registration of their FIR. Also, the complainant will also have the right to move to the sessions court in the cases where the magistrate fails to issue a process or dismisses their complaint.
An individual will also have the recourse to approach other forums like National or State Human Rights Commission or the National or State Women’s Commission which are empowered with the authority to file a complaint in such cases, not only this but they can carry on an investigation into your case and also help you in filing a complaint to the police.