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Foreign airlines need to comply with sexual harassment law: HC

Delhi High Court on Sunday warned foreign airlines that non-compliance of the law on sexual harassment at workplace would be at their own “peril” as it applied to them here.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw made the observation while dismissing a PIL seeking directions to the Centre and the Delhi government to implement the Vishakha guidelines on sexual harassment against women at workplace in the aviation industry.

The court said that since the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013, has come into force, there is no need for the court to issue any direction to comply with the law.

“We are of the opinion that once the law aforesaid has come into force, all including foreign airlines having a place of work in India and to whom such law may be applicable, are expected and required to comply therewith and there is no need for this Court to issue any direction for the law to be complied with.

“If any of such foreign airline does not comply with the law, it shall do so at its own peril,” the court said.

The court also said, “We are afraid, this petition in public interest is being pursued without regard to the law which has come into force and the provisions thereof. We thus did not feel any need to entertain this petition and dismiss the same.”

It also took note of Delhi government’s submission that a communication has been sent to the Joint Secretary in Civil Aviation Ministry to circulate a direction to all airlines operating from Delhi and the NCR to constitute Internal Complaints Committees and take steps to create awareness.

The issue was transferred as a PIL to the bench by another court which was dealing with the plea of an Indian woman, employed with Sri Lankan Airlines, seeking action against the carrier and its official whom she had accused of sexual harassment.

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