118 cases of sexual harassment registered with MCGM offices in last four years. Twenty one cases registered this year till date.
There has been a surge in the number of sexual harassment cases registered with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). RTI Activist Anil Galgali had filed an RTI to obtain information about sexual harassment cases filed with complaints committee working under Women Sexual harassment chief and ‘Savitribai Phule Women resource centre during last four years. The committee informed Galgali that there has been sharp rise in the number of sexual harassment cases. Twenty nine cases of Sexual harassment are registered in MCGM offices every year.
A total of 118 complaints of sexual harassment in MCGM were received between 2013 to 2016, Public information officer & Administrative Officer Rekha Kale informed Galgali. Out of this 21 were filed in the current year 2016 itself. Out of the pending cases, 96 per cent have been cleared. Just four cases registered this year have been marked as ‘pending’ in the records.
Out of the total 16 members of the committee, eight members, including the President and Secretary are related to medical field. Seven members are doctors while 8th is an Administrative officer. A question which arises here is whether any action has been taken against the guilty after completion of inquiry?
The committee was appointed in 2009. MCGM deputy Commissioner (General Administration) appoints the committee after consultation with Additional Commission (Suburbs) and after obtaining permission from the MCGM Commissioner. The term of President, Secretary and members of the committee continues till the day when they retires.
Unfortunately, the committee refused to share data regarding the implementation of orders passed by the vigilance bodies, burdened with the responsibility to stop sexual harassment at work places. They refused to share information on those cases, where ‘action taken report’ has not been filed on the orders issued by these statutory vigilante groups. When Galgali inquired about what type of sexual harassment cases have been committed the committee refused to disclose any further information about it.
In a letter addressed to Municipal Commissioner, Anil Galgali has demanded, “All the names of the officers and staff who have been found guilty of sexual harassment by the committee, should be displayed on the MCGM’S website. This initiative will act as a strong deterrent for others.”
“The postings on the committee appointed to look into the complaints of the women’s sexual harassment in the work place by the MCGM as well as the Savitribai Phule women’s development centre be fixed for a specific term including the Chairman, Secretary and the members, so as to ensure that no lobbies will have any control over the activities there. This will also ensure that varied experience of the other senior officers can be utilised there,” he added.