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Written by Shweta Luthra |
Updated: October 15, 2021 7:59:27 am
The Bombay High Court

football playing drawing images,In a bid to protect the identities of those involved in POSH (prevention of sexual harassment) trials, the Bombay High Court, in a recent judgment, has set out guidelines that appear to be prohibitive and may become a dangerous precedent for all lower courts in the states of Goa and Maharashtra and could be relied upon by other courts in the country. The guidelines laid down by Justice Gautam Patel on September 24 (in P v. A & Ors) prohibit the disclosure of the identities of the victim, accused and witnesses, and mandate that all such court hearings be held in-camera or in Judges’ Chambers, with only the court stenographer, plaintiff, defendant and their lawyers being present. Even court orders and judgments will not be delivered in open court. Parties to POSH trials are prohibited from disclosing any information relating to such trials (including the final order/judgment) to the media or publicising the same via social media, without securing permission from the Court. Breach of these conditions will be contempt of court. Judgments in POSH cases will no longer be published or uploaded for public consumption without permission of the court, and, even then, publication of only a fully anonymised version can be allowed. For any lawyer to access this judgment, a court order will have to be obtained.

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (POSH Act) mandates that government and private organisations redress complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace in a manner that is simpler and quicker than the judicial process.,bet365 nl

soccer tipster,Especially in this post-pandemic scenario that forced the slovan liberecn judicial system to evolve and allow virtual court proceedings, which in turn has increased access to justice and also brought much needed transparency into an increasingly opaque (and often criticized) judicial process, it is difficult to understand the rationale behind such guidelines, which mandate physical attendance. Why would courts need to dispense with any possibility of hybrid or virtual hearings in order to keep proceedings confidential? Such requirements will again cause further delays in an already slow judicial system, and discourage victims from pursuing trials that require them to travel appear in person for every court hearing.

betway 200 bonus,Additionally, the need for confidentiality has also been stretched far more than necessary. Identities of victims/survivors of child sexual abuse and rape are required to be kept confidential from the media, unless they exercise their rights under S.228A(ii)(b) of the slovan liberecn Penal Code. This is done to prevent victims from being ostracized by society. If this same privilege is extended to complainants and witnesses in POSH cases, that would be beneficial because there is reasonable expectation of retaliation at the workplace. It is for this reason that S.16 of the POSH Act prohibits members of the internal committee and employers from revealing identities of those involved in POSH inquiries. However, unlike the blanket ban imposed by these guidelines, the POSH Act does not expressly prohibit complainants and respondents from themselves revealing this information.

Moreover, the POSH Act allows publication of the justice secured to a victim, which must also be revealed by every organisation in their annual report (without identifying the parties), in order to let the public know about the nature of action taken by employers against those who indulge in sexual harassment.,chennai casino

Also, extending this veil of confidentiality to the respondent’s identity is a privilege that has not been given to those accused under any other laws. If the reasoning is to protect the accused from the label attached to an alleged sexual harasser, then it is unfathomable why the Court would give such specific guidelines for proceedings in trials relating only to sexual harassment at workplaces. This blanket ban on revealing any information relating to POSH cases, including the identity of those found guilty of sexual harassment could potentially result in habitual offenders hiding behind this veil of confidentiality and prevent the public from learning about the actions of powerful employers accused of protecting perpetrators.

volleyball zug,While keeping identities confidential from the media until the verdict has been arrived at may be reasonable, not allowing these judgments to be published without court approval, and restricting access to such information goes against the need for transparency and accountability in the judicial process. In fact, since the slovan liberecn judicial system follows the principles of Common Law, Internal and local committees rely on case law to interpret the POSH Act and seek clarity on how to apply these legal provisions. Court judgments are essential to this process and for the evolution of law. By allowing only advocates-on-record to access these judgments after seeking the court’s permission, these guidelines prevent access to information that would otherwise assist in better resolution of sexual harassment complaints. How can lawyers be expected to ask for an order without knowing the facts of a case and the relevance of that judgment to future cases?

The reality of sexual harassment is that it goes unnoticed and unspoken about in a majority of cases. It takes a lot of courage to raise your voice against a powerful perpetrator, especially when you believe that you may be the only victim. The #MeToo movement has shown us how one voice encourages many others to speak up, bringing to light a truth that is hard for society to accept. A court judgment like this could in effect lead to the silencing of many such future voices, without doing anything much to prevent future sexual harassment.,poker vector

This column first appeared in the print edition on October 14, 2021 under the title ‘A blanket cover’. The writer is a legal consultant with SASHA (Support Against Sexual Harassment At Workplace)

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