Calcutta HC: Same-Sex Sexual Harassment complaints are fully maintainable under the POSH Act, 2013

The High Court of Calcutta, while hearing a Constitutional Writ Jurisdiction in the case of Dr. Malabika Bhattacharjee v. Internal Complaints Committee Vivekananda College & Ors. comprising of Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya, J. has held that the same-gender Sexual Harassment complaints are fully maintainable under the POSH(Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act 2013.

The question of gender equality obtains priority in deciding whether a complaint falls within the periphery of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013. In the present case, since the gender of the complainant and the respondent is the same, the question of the Act being invoked.

The Court had dismissed the writ petition and further observed that the definition of “sexual harassment”in Section 2(n) cannot be a static concept but has to be interpreted against the backdrop of the social perspective.

The Court further said: “If Section 3(2) is looked into, it is seen that the acts contemplated therein can be perpetrated by the members of any gender interse.

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