Shivangi Prakash-

Published On: September 28,2021 at 18:59 IST

The Bombay High Court established a set of instructions for cases involving Workplace Sexual Harassment of Women, stating that such cases will only be heard in camera or in the Judge’s chambers, and that no media publication on verdicts will be permitted without prior consent.

Justice Gautam Patel said there seemed to be no established guidelines on such issues, and therefore this was the first attempt in that direction.

“Orders / judgments regarding benefits will not be uploaded. This order sets out general guidelines and does not cover benefits, so uploads are permitted,” said the Order.

The Order ensures that everyone, including the media, strictly adheres to these conditions of anonymity, and further clarifies that failure to do so would be a Contempt of Court.

Breaching the guidelines or disclosing the parties’ names or exposing their identities, even if such material already exists in the public domain, is considered Contempt of Court, according to the Order.

“Both sides and all parties and advocates, as also witnesses, are forbidden from disclosing the contents of any order, judgment or filing to the media or publishing any such material in any mode or fashion by any means, including social media, without specific leave of the court,” the Order reads.

In addition, the Court ordered that all of the files be kept sealed and not disclosed to anybody without the Court’s permission.

The 7-page order went on to say that these are just the starting points to deal with cases related to Prevention Of Sexual Harassment (POSH) and that they should be amended as required.

We recommend that these guidelines are the minimum required,” said Justice Patel.

Also Read: Calcutta HC: Voluntary Joint Sexual Act will not attract Offences under POCSO

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