The Supreme Court has formed a committee for accepting and investigating complaints of sexual harassment occurring on its premises and to recommend to the Chief Justice to take appropriate action.
Ali Akbar, Registrar General of the Supreme Court, on Wednesday, issued an order upon the direction of Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, said Supreme Court sources.
The five member sexual harassment committee is headed by Krishna Debnath, justice of the High Court (HC). Other members include HC Justices Kazi Zinat Hoque and Md Badrul Alam Bhuiyan, Registrar of the Appellate Division, and Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Fauzia Karim, and Advocate Tamanna Ferdous.
According to the order, the committee will examine sexual harassment complaints against any people working at the Supreme Court-- including judges, lawyers and court staff.
If the committee finds evidence of harassment on the part of any people against whom a complaint is lodged, it will recommend that the Chief Justice take appropriate action against the guilty party, the order adds.
In 2009, upon hearing a writ petition filed by the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA), the High Court issued an 11-point directive on the prohibition, prevention and redressal of sexual harassment in the workplace and educational institutions.
The court directives included requiring the formation of a five-member harassment complaint committee headed by a woman at every workplace and institution to investigate allegations of harassment of women.
The BNWLA filed the writ petition in 2008, concerning the widespread prevalence of sexual harassment of women on university campuses and in office spaces.
After more than a decade since the landmark judgment given by the country's judiciary in 2009, the Supreme Court has formed the called for committee, court sources said.