A Parliamentary panel has expressed surprise on a practice where wives of senior officers of paramilitary forces, specially BSF, have been adjudicating on sexual harassment complaints of women employees made against their senior officials.
The committee on Empowerment of Women, with the focus on 'women in paramilitary forces' has also asked the home ministry that guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court on sexual harassment should be complied strictly in forces like BSF, CRPF, CISF, ITBP, NSG and SSB.
"The committee is surprised to note that in some of these forces, specially in BSF, wives of the officers listen to the grievances of the women employees which can never be an unbiased/impartial corrective measure as there have been cases where the women employees were harassed by their seniors and the wives of the senior officers sat on the judgement in the cases pertaining to the grievances/sexual harassment," the committee said in its report tabled in the Parliament on Wednesday.
The committee also said that the guidelines of Supreme Court, as prescribed in Vishakha Dutt case, are not being scrupulously followed in paramilitary forces.
The government, while replying to the committees observations, said "all the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) are strictly following the guidelines of the Supreme Court in this regard and have setup the complaints committees. These committees are headed by a lady officer of sufficiently senior rank. In the event of non-availability of a lady officer, senior to the alleged perpetrator, respective CAPFs approach MHA for detailment of Chairperson from other organisation."