The proposed 'Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill', introduced in the Lok Sabha has been termed as an "anti-men" legislation by an NGO here.
The proposed inquiry proceedings in the 2010 Bill are designed to deny justice to men. The proposed Internal Complaints Committee, as provided in Section 4 of the proposed Act, shall be headed by woman, according to All India Men's Welfare Association (AIMWA).
Its members shall consist of at least two women employees “committed to the cause of women”. The term has not been explained in the proposed Act, but in common parlance, it means "a feminist woman". Thus the basic constitution of the internal complaints committee has been designed to be anti-men.
Similarly, Local Committee constituted under Section 7 of the proposed Act is chaired by "eminent woman in field of social work committed to the cause of woman" and representatives of NGOs "committed to the cause of woman," AIMWA said.
Civilised jurisprudence of any society requires unbiased judges, whereas the proposed Act provides of anti-men jury, it said.
No man respondent can expect any justice from such biased jury, where it knows that they hold office because “they are committed to the cause of women”.
"Also, there is a provision for settlement under Section 10 of the proposed Act. A man respondent shall be aware in the settlement proceeding that if he doesn't agree to the settlement proposal by the inquiry committee, the same inquiry committee shall inquire into the charges."
"Thus the proposed settlement mechanism is nothing but an extortion mechanism to rob men of property and self esteem. Such feminist dominated inquiry committee has also been given power to transfer respondent during inquiry. Such power is likely to be used in such manner to deny justice to man," AIMWA Central India chief Rajesh Vakharia alleged.
Further, all proceedings under the proposed Act is treated as secret. No information about enquiry/conciliation proceedings etc can be divulged not even under the Right to Information Act. It is seen that name of complainant/respondent could have easily been kept secret, he said.
Such secrecy has been proposed to conceal the wrong doing and blatant injustice to men by the inquiry committee, he alleged. AIMWA said that recent development have shown that Right to Information Act has been used successfully by Mens Rights activists all over the country to expose various injustices done to men through other Gender-biased laws.
In order to conceal wrong doings such laws, Section 16 of the proposed Act conceal all proceedings under the Act from the purview of the Right to Information Act. Rule 26 provides that court shall take cognizance under this Act only on a complaint of a woman or committee.Thus men have been barred from making any complaint against anybody before a court of law for any wrong doing done to them under the proposed Act, it said.
The Bill aims at enslaving men by making them an easy target of extortion and dismissal from service through biased procedure and at the same time deny men any remedy against such wrong doings in the court of law. This is a bill to humiliate men, subjugate men and facilitate ransom and extortion from men, Vakharia alleged.