Sexual Harassment Panels: The Ministry of Youth Affais and Sports and the various national sports federations received letters from the National Human Rights Commissionn.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) received notices from the NHRC as well.
The NHRC stated that non-compliance with the PoSH rule was a “matter of concern” that could “impact the legal right and dignity of sportspersons” and gave the federations four weeks to produce comprehensive reports.
The absence of an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), as required by the 2013 PoSH Act, was brought up last month by the MC Mary Kom-led committee, which the government established to investigate claims of sexual harassment made by some of the top wrestlers in the country against Wrestling Federation of India president and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
According to the law, the ICC needs to include a minimum of four members – at least half of them women – of whom one shall be an external member, preferably from an NGO or an association that works for women’s empowerment or a person experienced with issues relating to sexual harassment, like a lawyer.
As per a May 4 investigation published by The Indian Express, the wrestling organisation wasn’t the only one breaking the law.
A completely compliant ICC was absent from 16 out of 30 national sports federations, representing the sports in which India competed at the 2018 Asian Games, the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, and the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
In a statement on Thursday, the NHRC said: “The Commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, amount to a violation of a law, and thus is a matter of concern as it may impact the legal right and dignity of the sportspersons.”
Besides WFI, SAI, BCCI, and the Sports Ministry, the NHRC has also sent notices to the governing bodies of 15 other federations, including those for the following sports: handball, volleyball, basketball, weightlifting, yachting, gymnastics, table tennis, billiards and snooker, kayaking and canoeing, judo, squash, triathlon, kabaddi, badminton, and archery.
(With Input From insidesport)
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