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One of the key revisions proposed in the Amendment Bill 2024 is to revise the timeline within which a complaint should be raised under Section 9 of the POSH Act. Currently, the act stipulates a timeline of 3 months for filing a complaint from the date of the incident. The Bill aims to extend this timeline to one year. The amendment provides an extended time frame and flexibility to victims, which creates a more supportive environment and encourages them to come forward without undue pressure.
As we analyze the proposed amendments to the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, it is crucial to strike a balance between giving victims adequate time to come forward and ensuring a fair investigation. The extension of the timeline to file complaints is beneficial to victims and but shall present challenges for obtaining relevant evidence.

The bill also proposes to strike out conciliation. The analysis below captures the complexity of the situation well. Removing the conciliation option from the bill would certainly have significant implications, both positive and negative.

On one hand, processing all sexual harassment complaints through formal legal channels ensures transparency, accountability, and equal treatment for all parties involved. This can enhance public trust in the integrity of the process and provide a clear framework for addressing workplace harassment.

However, it’s crucial to consider the potential drawbacks as well. The absence of conciliation could foster a more adversarial atmosphere in the workplace, straining relationships and negatively impacting morale and productivity. Additionally, removing the option of conciliation may limit access to remedies for individuals who prefer a less intimidating avenue for seeking resolution.

Balancing these competing interests requires careful consideration of the broader goals of the bill and the needs of all stakeholders involved. It may be worthwhile to explore alternative mechanisms or safeguards within the formal legal process to address concerns about accessibility, intimidation, and relationship preservation while still ensuring accountability and transparency in addressing workplace harassment.