The High Court on Sunday directed the government to submit a report on the steps taken to prevent sexual harassment of women and children in all governmental and non-governmental institutions of the country, including educational institutions, following an HC order in 2009.
A HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice SM Maniruzzaman passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed on behalf of rights organisation Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK).
The Cabinet Secretary, Law Secretary, Public Administration Secretary and Family Planning Secretary have been asked to report the steps to prevent sexual harassment taken by the government in three months.
The court also issued a rule on the preliminary hearing of the writ petition.
Lawyer Syeda Nasrin and Md Shahinuzzaman appeared for the petition in the court.
Lawyer Syeda Nasrin said the High Court had issued a guideline in 2009 to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, including educational institutions. But it has not been implemented yet.
For this reason a writ was filed on behalf of Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) on 21 October last year. The secretaries of 40 ministries, including public administration, the registrar general of the Supreme Court, the Bar Council and the University Grants Commission (UGC) were made respondents in that petition.
On 7 August, 2008, Advocate Salma Ali, Executive Director of the Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers' Association (BNWLA), filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking its directions to prevent sexual harassment of women and children in the workplace and on educational institutions.
On 14 May, 2009, the High Court bench headed by Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain issued several directives including forming committee on prevention of sexual harassment to take complaints in all institutions--educational institutions, governmental and non-governmental institutions.