Research Report on “Internal Complaints Committee at the Police Stations” By SICHREM.

This research was conducted by the Students interning with SICHREM to find out the status of the implementation of the Prevention of the Sexual Harassment Act, 2013 in the police station. The importance of the implementation of POSH Act, 2013 can be summarized in one brief sentence, “If the police force watches us, who watches the police force?” The police force needs to be highly aware and sensitive to crimes of nature similar to sexual harassment as the police force deals with all reported victims of sex crimes.

Ultimately, after the research conducted the following data could be ascertained.

ICC was implemented in only 33% or 6 police stations. It was not present in the remaining 66% or 12 police stations. This clearly shows that implementation of POSH act is lacking. Further, the attitude of police people towards this issue was full of stigma. They made all possible attempts to not provide information.

In these 12 police stations without ICC, it could be ascertained that only 4 of them provided an alternate mechanism to deal with the complaints. In these police stations, the victim would complain to the inspector in charge and the inspector would deal with them.  However, there was no check or resolution mechanism if the inspector decides to indulge in sexual harassment.

However, in no police station, there was any information regarding the no of complaints filed or how the cases are dealt with. The researchers went to the Women’s commission to get any information available on the topic. To their surprise, there was no information with the Commission. This is goes against section 21 of the POSH act which details that the ICC has to submit a report to the District officer AND the employer.

On the basis of data collected and the analysis made on the data. It can be reasonably said that despite the International instruments, domestic case laws and domestic legislation, the guarantee of equality of women and men made under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution remains unfulfilled.

Implementation of the POSH Act, 2013 is clearly lacking in the police stations. As long as the POSH act is not implemented, the women working in the police stations are at the risk of being sexually harassed. Ironic, how people appointed to protect the common citizenry of the nation themselves have become vulnerable to sexual harassment.

In order to remedy this situation, Police department has to take the following steps:

  1. Institution of a functional ICC in every police station.
  2. Conducting programs and seminars to increase the level of awareness among the police force.
  3. Issuing clear directives stating that sexual harassment is prohibited at all levels of the police force.

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