Oct. 29, 2018

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a PIL petition to extend Vishakha guidelines against sexual harassment in workplace to religious institutions (i.e. ashrams, madrasas and Catholic institutions).

Plea to include religious institutions: 

  • The petition has been filed by advocate Maneesh Pathak in the background of recent instances such as cases of priests being accused of sexual abuse in Kerala and of self-styled gurus like Daati Maharaj, Baba Ram Rahim and Asaram Bapu.

  • The petition said religious institutions also have women employed there other than those working on a voluntary basis.

  • Extending the Vishakha Guidelines to these religious institutions, would assist in reducing sexually related crimes against women at religious places by gurus or leaders of that particular institution.

  • It said the government should do a background verification of religious leaders, especially “new upcoming babas” or “heads of those madrasas” and churches.

  • It also sought directions to the Centre to provide adequate measures for women safety at religious places by conducting periodic checks by State women panels.

Source : The Hindu