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House prices drop in London

first_imgMonday 16 August 2010 8:13 pm House prices drop in London Show Comments ▼ whatsapp More From Our Partners Native American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.org Sharecenter_img whatsapp by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailNoteabley25 Funny Notes Written By StrangersNoteableyZen HeraldThe Truth About Why ’40s Actor John Wayne Didn’t Serve In WWII Has Come To LightZen HeraldBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeautooverload.comDeclassified Vietnam War Photos The Public Wasn’t Meant To Seeautooverload.comAtlantic MirrorA Kilimanjaro Discovery Has Proved This About The BibleAtlantic MirrorBrake For ItThe Most Worthless Cars Ever MadeBrake For ItTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastElite HeraldKate Middleton Dropped An Unexpected Baby BombshellElite Herald KCS-content Tags: NULL London house prices dropped by four per cent in August, wiping out any gains made earlier this year, according to Rightmove. On average £17,000 came off London asking prices in August, the biggest drop in two years. The average London house price now sits at £405,058, falling back to January levels. Wandsworth and Brent fell by 6.2 per cent, with Newham declining by only 1.2 per cent, and Kensington and Chelsea falling by 1.7 per cent, in line with the national average. last_img read more

MRG chief hails marketing push

first_img Per Norman (pictured), the chief executive of MRG, has hailed the impact of a marketing push in the first half of 2018 after the company, which operates the Mr Green brand, revealed bumper revenue growth figures.In a trading update, MRG said that revenue growth had accelerated in the second quarter to 43.4%, giving the company a 40.8% increase so far this year to SEK793.8m (£68.4m/€76.7m/$89.8m) after impressive organic growth of 31.1% from April to June inclusive.Profits did take a hit due to marketing expenditure increasing by more than 70% year-on-year in the first half of 2018, with earnings before interest and deductions over the six months falling from SEK52.4m to SEK45.4m.However, in an earnings call, Norman explained how the marketing expenditure has represented a sound investment.“Higher marketing spend has affected EBITDA and there has been a strong focus on digital marketing, but we are very happy with the strong growth,” Norman said.“We increased marketing spend for two reasons and these actions have been successful. The first reason was because of the strong market efficiency we were seeing, and the second was of course due to the [Fifa] World Cup.“We will focus more on cost control in the second half of the year, with marketing spend decreasing in relation to total revenue.”On the “market efficiency”, Norman outlined how customer deposits had rocketed by 64.3% in the last quarter through to the end of June and added that he is “very happy with the quality” of the new customers.“We are measuring it very closely,” he said. “When we measured market efficiency in Q2, it was very high despite the increase in marketing spend, and we have also seen that in the deposit figures.”The MRG chief executive also said that the first few days in July had considerably surpassed the company’s target of 40% growth in 2018 – but he refused to put a figure on the increase so far this month, adding a note of caution that the closing stages of the World Cup may have added a temporary gloss.“We have had another strong quarter,” Norman added. “We are confident we are very well prepared to deliver on our financial targets, short and long term.”In addition to targeting turnover growth of at least 40% this year, MRG is aiming for 25% growth in 2020.Geographically, MRG has experienced particularly positive organic growth in the Nordics, Norman said. He also said that Italy – where draconian new laws on gambling advertising and promotions were introduced last week – represents a relatively small market for the company.Mr Green rebranded as MRG in May after completing a deal to acquire Latvian operator 11.lv, securing an entrance into the Baltic market. Finance Regions: Europe Topics: Finance MRG chief hails marketing push Email Address 23rd July 2018 | By contenteditor Tags: Online Gambling ‘Quality’ customers drive revenue increase in first half of 2018 Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterlast_img read more

Ascencia Limited (ASCE.mu) HY2015 Interim Report

first_imgAscencia Limited (ASCE.mu) listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius under the Investment sector has released it’s 2015 interim results for the half year.For more information about Ascencia Limited (ASCE.mu) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Ascencia Limited (ASCE.mu) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Ascencia Limited (ASCE.mu)  2015 interim results for the half year.Company ProfileAscencia Limited is a commercial property fund with an investment portfolio comprising quality income earning properties located in Mauritius. The company specialises in retail properties where the company engages in the acquisition, investment and investment holding of real estate properties on the Mauritian island. Ascencia Limited (Class A shares) operates shopping malls locally and regionally. Ascencia Limited is listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.last_img read more

TreeHouse / LEVER Architecture

first_imgShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/889047/treehouse-lever-architecture Clipboard Architects: LEVER Architecture Area Area of this architecture project ArchDaily Thomas Robinson, Jonathan Heppner, Doug Sheets TreeHouse / LEVER ArchitectureSave this projectSaveTreeHouse / LEVER Architecture Year:  CopyAbout this officeLEVER ArchitectureOfficeFollowProductsWoodSteelConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousingApartmentsPortlandUnited StatesPublished on February 14, 2018Cite: “TreeHouse / LEVER Architecture” 14 Feb 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Browse the CatalogAluminium CompositesTechnowoodHow to Design a Façade with AluProfile Vertical ProfilesSynthetics / AsphaltMitrexSolar RoofMetal PanelsAurubisCopper Alloy: Nordic RoyalPlumbingSanifloGreywater Pump – Sanifast®SWH190WoodLunawoodInterior ThermowoodMembranesEffisusAVCL Systems for FacadesSinksCosentinoBathroom Collection – Silestone® WashbasinsDoorsStudcoPocket Door Trims – CavKitWoodStructureCraftEngineering – Architectural & FreeformMetal PanelsRHEINZINKPanel Surface Finish – prePATINA-LineHanging LampsEureka LightingSuspended Lights – BloomMetallicsBaileyFacade Systems- I-Line Snap-On Feature ChannelMore products »Save世界上最受欢迎的建筑网站现已推出你的母语版本!想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream United States Photographs:  Lara Swimmer Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project Save this picture!© Lara SwimmerRecommended ProductsWindowsFAKRORoof Windows – FPP-V preSelect MAXWindowspanoramah!®ah!38 – FlexibilityWoodSculptformTimber Click-on BattensWoodTechnowoodPergola SystemsText description provided by the architects. Treehouse is a 7-story, 69-unit, multi-family apartment building located on a steeply forested site on the Marquam Hill campus of the Oregon Health & Science University (OSHU) in Portland. The project program provides housing for OHSU staff, students, and affiliates who are interested in a live/work/no-commute lifestyle, as well as a new retail destination on the ground floor.Save this picture!© Lara SwimmerSave this picture!Floor PlanSave this picture!© Lara SwimmerThe design bridges the urban and topographical qualities of the campus by placing the building as an “in the round” object in the forest. Instead of cutting into the hill, the building form is carved to follow the landscape. From the interior entry lobby, the experience of the forested landscape is framed. From the exterior, the building connects the upper-level bridge entry to the lower level retail and rain garden landscape and deck that mitigates all stormwater runoff.Save this picture!© Lara SwimmerThe units are designed as a series of interlocking volumes arranged around a compact central core. The irregular octagonal plan was driven by mandated setback points required to allow for glazing on every face of the building. Windows have been carefully placed to maximize daylight and spaciousness in the studio and one bedroom flats.Save this picture!© Lara SwimmerThe façade of the building is inspired by the textures and light of the forest. A continuous carved building skin is achieved by eliminating the expression of floor levels by incorporating all expansion joints into the custom window surrounds.  Special attention was paid to the framing to allow for the precise placement of the windows at the corners, as well as the detailing of thru façade venting. The skin has a consistent texture and pattern but intentional variety that gives the façade a dynamic quality that changes as you move along and around it and with the time of day.Save this picture!© Lara SwimmerProject gallerySee allShow lessDowntown Brooklyn’s Latest Megaproject Will Feature a 986-Foot-Tall Tower and 2 Scho…Architecture NewsIs Architecture Too Interdisciplinary? Or, Why Architects Need to Start Talking Abou…ArticlesProject locationAddress:Portland, OR, United StatesLocation to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Share TreeHouse / LEVER Architecture “COPY” CopyApartments•Portland, United States 2015 “COPY” Save this picture!© Lara Swimmer+ 17Curated by María Francisca González Share Area:  45000 ft² Year Completion year of this architecture project ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/889047/treehouse-lever-architecture Clipboard Lead Architects: Apartments Photographs Manufacturers: Oregon Lumber Company, Skyline Sheet Metal, TechLighting Projectslast_img read more

Michael Winehouse – Rising Star at IoF Fundraising Convention 2016

first_img  257 total views,  3 views today Advertisement About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Michael Winehouse – Rising Star at IoF Fundraising Convention 2016  258 total views,  4 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Tagged with: Institute of Fundraising National Fundraising Conventioncenter_img Howard Lake | 26 July 2016 | News The third of the Rising Stars that we are featuring from this month’s Fundraising Convention is Michael Winehouse.In the Rising Stars session on the last day of the Institute of Fundraising’s event at the Barbican, London, Winehouse spoke about the importance of attracting young trustees to your charity. He’s a trustee at Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and is also Major Donor Fundraiser at The Children’s Society.Winehouse was one of nine speakers who had not previously presented at Fundraising Convention.Missed the other Rising Stars we’ve featured? Catch up with their sessions:Russell BensonSali Gray AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Coal miners, Hurricane Sandy and China’s GreenGen

first_imgChina in 2010 became the world’s largest investor in clean energy. It is the largest producer of solar panels and of wind energy. Here, an engineer points to a diagram of the GreenGen coal-fired, low-emission power plant that went online this year.This year, possibly for the first time ever, the United Mine Workers did not endorse a presidential candidate. In 2008, the union was an early endorser of Obama, and has usually supported Democratic candidates. The union’s decision to sit it out this year was an indication of the crisis that has befallen coal miners, who don’t know where to turn for help.In 1923, there were 700,000 coal miners in the United States. Today, there are fewer than 88,000. In this same period, the total amount of coal produced here annually has doubled, while productivity per worker has increased about 14 times.Mining coal is a hard, dirty and dangerous job. Most of the mines are in areas, like Appalachia, where poverty is high and other types of work are hard to get. Historically, coal miners have been among the most class-conscious and militant workers. Their harsh conditions and the high-handed, brutal tactics of the mine owners resulted in class struggles that have at times amounted to open warfare.Both capitalist parties want the votes of miners and their communities but have no answers to their rising problems. The Republicans tried to make hay this year by blaming growing unemployment in mining areas on government regulation of coal mining and coal-fired power plants, which are major producers of greenhouse gas (GG) pollution. Romney even found some coal miners willing to stand on the platform at one of his campaign rallies. The Republicans failed to capture the union’s endorsement, but the workers were disappointed enough with the Obama administration to withhold their support.No mention of climate change in debatesCapitalist politics is based upon deception of the masses of people. This election was no exception. While the presidential debates were about the budget deficit and taxes, the all-important issues of jobs, poverty and climate change got little attention from the candidates. Climate change in particular was never even mentioned.It should have been a perfect opportunity to bring to hundreds of millions of viewers a clear, scientific explanation of what is happening to the world’s environment because of rampant, profit-driven industrial expansion, and then present a program of what to do about it.Here, in the richest of all capitalist countries, the technology and the human power exist to remake the entire infrastructure and begin to turn around the intensifying cycle of unnatural disasters now unfolding.The energy of every person who needs and wants a job and training could be employed in such an endeavor.Of course, nothing of the kind happened. The absolute lack of any plan, even to deal with the after-effects of hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and floods, let alone with their causes, was made painfully clear during and immediately after the election. Millions had their lives turned upside down by climate-change-induced catastrophes all over the country, from wildfires in the West and drought in the Midwest grain belt to the swath of submerged and hammered communities hit by Hurricane Sandy, which rampaged from the New York-New Jersey coast all the way to the Great Lakes and into Canada.Yet the recent annual U.N. talks on climate change, which took place this year in Doha, the capital of oil-rich Qatar, got nowhere as usual.The governments of the rich and powerful capitalist countries that have produced the vast majority of carbon dioxide gas that today blankets the earth, trapping its heat, have blocked any efforts to set quotas for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. Nor could the small island countries that face extinction as sea levels rise get any meaningful help for their people.However, the lack of an international agreement hasn’t stopped every country from moving ahead with tackling this urgent problem. Most notable is the People’s Republic of China. It is worth citing a few facts about what China is doing, especially since most of the U.S. media present China as a major problem in climate change.China pioneers ‘clean’ coalChina relies on coal for 70 percent of its energy. It has the largest coal deposits in the world, and is presently the largest consumer of coal. This is a huge problem for China, and has contributed to serious air pollution in most of its cities.But in 2010 China became the world’s largest investor in clean energy. When the 2008 financial crisis hit, the U.S. spent trillions on bailing out the banks and other financial institutions. China, seeing its export market drying up as the Western capitalist economies plunged, did something different. It invested nearly a trillion dollars in its infrastructure, much of it dealing with the problem of energy conservation as well as clean energy generation.It established the Thermal Power Research Institute, the Clean Energy Research Institute and many other government bodies to integrate scientific breakthroughs with industrial development. This led to vastly expanding its investment in renewables like solar panels and wind farms.In October the China Institute of Atomic Energy announced it had completed the construction of an experimental fourth-generation fast neutron reactor that is now contributing 20 megawatts to the power grid. The plant utilizes 60 percent of the energy in its uranium fuel, compared to just 1 percent for older pressurized water reactors. The next step in China’s nuclear program is a fast reactor that uses recycled fuel — thus beginning to draw down the huge piles of radioactive waste accumulating around the world.China’s investment in cleaner energy has also led to the development of new ways to use coal without adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.This year, a coal-fired plant called GreenGen went online in Tianjin that is generating 400 megawatts of electricity with near-zero emissions of carbon and sulfur. The carbon is sequestered and pumped back deep underground. GreenGen is a pilot plant; if it performs as expected, China will build more and phase out the older polluting plants.Coal is not the answer for all time, obviously. Coal, like oil and gas, is a fossil fuel. It was created by geological processes over millions of years, and it is being depleted at an alarming rate by human extraction. It is not renewable.Over the short term, however, the new coal-fired energy technology can help China reduce its GG emissions — which it committed itself to do at the U.N. conference in Copenhagen three years ago. It voluntarily set itself a target of a 45 percent reduction in GG emissions per unit of economic development by 2020. (Bloomberg News, April 3)China is still a developing country, one that has to feed and house 1.3 billion people — four times the population of the U.S. How can it afford to be on the cutting edge of dealing with global warming, when only two generations ago most of its people lived in dire poverty?The answer is that, despite the growth of the capitalist market in China, its central financial and industrial institutions are still publicly owned and operated according to a planned economy made possible by its socialist revolution of 1949. Even Western capitalists, who would love to break up state control over the Chinese economy as they did in the former USSR, recognize this.‘Earth, the Operator’s Manual’The U.S. Public Broadcasting System aired a documentary last April entitled “Earth, the Operator’s Manual.” It can be viewed online. Among the people interviewed on this program, which deals with the question of climate change, is Jon Hofmeister, the head of Shell USA.Hofmeister says about China: “There is literally a plan in their energy policies. It’s good to have a plan — having that long arc of commitment. … We’re not making the decisions at the national level that need to be made in terms of the next decade and the next several decades after that. … Places like China have a clear plan, and they are driving forward and they are building an energy infrastructure for the 21st century which will perhaps supply energy to the world’s largest economy — China, not the U.S.”How ironic that a major capitalist — from the oil industry, no less — should speak admiringly of China’s economic plan. Of course, Hofmeister would be horrified if we were to suggest that Shell, Mobil, General Electric, Ford, Citibank and all the huge corporations and banks that have a lock on the U.S. economy should be taken over through a workers’ revolution so that the riches of this society, built by the workers, could be organized in a rational plan and used to meet people’s needs, not the profit greed of a small class of parasitic owners.No, Hofmeister wants to have his cake and eat it, too. He wants the capitalist government to invest the workers’ money into just enough planning of infrastructure so that his company won’t fall behind China and can still produce enormous profits for his class.One of the U.S. companies that has started doing business in China is Peabody Coal. It actually divested its mines in Appalachia by selling them to a company created for this purpose, which then conveniently went bankrupt. This pushed the responsibility for the miners’ pensions and health coverage onto the government — a common trick nowadays.Peabody is involved in the GreenGem plant, and would probably like to take the technological knowhow that China has developed in the field of near-zero-emission, coal-fired energy generation and make profits from it here in the U.S. But Peabody wouldn’t sink much of its own money into such a plan. It would agree with Hofmeister that the government should pay the lion’s share. The primary concern of Peabody, as a capitalist corporation, is not clean energy. It is profit.The U.S. capitalist government, however, is already so overburdened with paying the banks their interest on the national “debt,” spending trillions on protecting the worldwide imperialist interests of big capital, and also repressing the working class at home — where we have the largest prison population in the world — that it is trying to figure out what to cut, not what to add.Mattoon power plant, dead before it was bornActually, there was a plan to build such a low-emissions coal-fired power plant in the U.S., beginning back in 2004 with the founding of the FutureGen Alliance. Millions of dollars were sunk into it before the Bush administration withdrew funding. After the bubble burst, the new Obama administration said in 2009 that some of the stimulus money should go into building the FutureGen plant in Mattoon, Ill. But it seems that the plug has been pulled on that plant, and it is now going nowhere.The capitalist system has no answers to the problem of global warming or to the despair of the coal miners, who are being replaced not by environmental regulations but by new technology like mountaintop removal.Meanwhile, many communities ravaged by Hurricane Sandy are still suffering. And the Midwest drought has lowered the Missouri and Mississippi rivers by as much as 20 feet, threatening to halt shipping there. (Thanks to WW subscriber Joe Johnson of Wisconsin for this information.)The profit motive, which is so totally entrenched in this capitalist society, stands in the way of a rational reorganization of the economy that would provide jobs for all while re-greening the planet. Only the working class and the oppressed, fighting in their own interests, have the power to bring this ruling class down and put production on a sustainable basis. Environmentalists have a duty to do all they can to help make this happen.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Alliance Unveils Unprecedented Climate Policy Recommendations

first_img An alliance of groups representing farmers, forest owners, the food sector, state governments and environmental advocates Tuesday unveiled an unprecedented set of recommendations to guide the development of federal climate policy.The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA) was formed in February 2020 by four groups that now co-chair the alliance: American Farm Bureau Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and National Farmers Union. The alliance has since expanded to include FMI – The Food Industry Association, National Alliance of Forest Owners, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, and The Nature Conservancy.Together, the group developed more than 40 recommendations based on three principles: agricultural and forestry climate policies must be built upon voluntary, incentive-based programs and market-driven opportunities; they must promote resilience and adaptation in rural communities; and they must be science-based. These recommendations share an overarching goal to do no harm. Climate policies will impact farmers, forest owners, ranchers, rural and limited-resources communities, wildlife and natural resources and must be thoughtfully crafted to account for any potential inequities, consequences and tradeoffs.“We are proud to have broken through historical barriers to form this unique alliance focused on climate policy,” said Zippy Duvall, FACA Co-chair and President of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We began discussions not knowing whether we would ultimately reach agreement. It was important to me to reject punitive climate policy ideas of the past in favor of policies that respect farmers and support positive change. Our final recommendations do just that.”“The wide array of perspectives represented in this group — farmers, ranchers, forest owners and environmental advocates — sends a powerful message to Capitol Hill about the urgent need for bipartisan climate legislation,” said Fred Krupp, FACA Co-Chair and President of Environmental Defense Fund. “More resilient farms and forests protect the agricultural economy, reduce risk from the climate impacts that are already here and help prevent worsening climate impacts in the future.”FACA Co-chair Chuck Conner, President of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, said, “Much as a farmer co-op gets its strength from uniting many producers to achieve a single goal, so too does FACA. Through FACA, the food, forestry and agriculture sectors can speak with a single voice on climate and, leveraging the unique perspectives and special talents of its members, help drive the conversation about the role that the food, forestry and agriculture sector can play in addressing climate policy.”Rob Larew, FACA Co-chair and President of National Farmers Union, said, “Climate change is adding another enormous variable to the already unpredictable work of farming. Every year, farmers face more frequent and severe weather events, making it just that much harder to make a profit. There are concrete actions farmers can take to build resilience to weather extremes and pull carbon out of the atmosphere, but they need strong policy behind them. The recommendations we’ve compiled are a good place to start.”Overview of climate policy recommendationsProvide voluntary, incentive-based tools and additional technical assistance for farmers, ranchers and foresters to maximize the sequestration of carbon and the reduction of other greenhouse gas emissions, and increase climate resilience.Foster the development of private sector GHG markets. The public sector should ensure that verifiable reductions occur and provide farmers and forest owners with the technical support needed to participate.Use an array of public and private sector tools to incentivize agricultural and forestry producers to prioritize and scale climate-smart practices.Incentivize farmers to reduce energy consumption and increase on-farm renewable energy production, and make continued progress toward reducing the lifecycle GHG emissions of agriculture- and forestry-based renewable energy.Reduce the GHG impact of food waste and loss by streamlining confusing consumer-facing packaging and implementing a public-private partnership to achieve a meaningful and workable food date-labeling program.Increase federal investment in agriculture, forestry and food-related research substantially and continuously.Read the full recommendations at www.agclimatealliance.com. They cover six areas of focus: soil health, livestock and dairy, forests and wood products, energy, research, and food loss and waste.The alliance welcomes additional members. Email [email protected] with questions about membership or our climate policy recommendations. By American Farm Bureau Federation – Nov 18, 2020 Home Indiana Agriculture News Alliance Unveils Unprecedented Climate Policy Recommendations SHARE Facebook Twitter Previous articleIndiana Still on Pace for Record Corn and Soybean Yields on the HAT Wednesday PodcastNext articleNational 4-H Council Awarded $3 Million to Support 4-H at Home American Farm Bureau Federation Alliance Unveils Unprecedented Climate Policy Recommendations Facebook Twitter SHARElast_img read more

Functioning Of Local Committees Under The Sexual Harassment Of Women At Workplace Act

first_imgColumnsFunctioning Of Local Committees Under The Sexual Harassment Of Women At Workplace Act Anagha Sarpotdar19 July 2020 11:06 PMShare This – xVishaka Guidelines The legal recourse on the issue of sexual harassment in India came only in the 1990s, though the country signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on 30 July 1980 and ratified it on 9 July 1993. It was in the case of Bhanwari Devi,2 a village-level worker employed with the Rajasthan state government on…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginVishaka Guidelines The legal recourse on the issue of sexual harassment in India came only in the 1990s, though the country signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on 30 July 1980 and ratified it on 9 July 1993. It was in the case of Bhanwari Devi,2 a village-level worker employed with the Rajasthan state government on contract, that the Supreme Court issued Vishaka guidelines for employers in 1997 (Vishaka Guidelines and Others v State of Rajasthan and Others 1997). Bhanwari Devi’s gang rape case brought to light the utter disregard and failure of the state government as an emp­loyer to recognise and prevent sexual harassment experienced by women while performing duties in benefit and on behalf of them. Jaising (2004) states that the primary question in the Vishaka case was whether the state, as an employer, was responsible to protect its employees and workers. Before the Vishaka judgment, even as the sexual dimension of harassment was disabling and unspoken, it remained invisible (Kapur 2009). The writ petition filed in this case by the women’s organisations was aimed at enforcing fundamental rights of working women, finding suitable methods for realisation of gender equality, preventing sexual harassment and filling the vacuum in existing legislation. It used the case as a concrete illustration of the systemic violation of rights, and then demonstrated a pattern of abuse by providing examples of five other women who experienced sexual assault while at work. The judgment filled a gap in domestic laws related to violence against women in India and upheld the constitutional rights of women by directly applying the provisions of CEDAW to enact guidelines against sexual harassment in the workplace (Sood 2006). In other words, the Constitution and international obligations became the basis for legislation against sexual harassment in India. The judgment drew from Articles 14 (fundamental right to equality before the law and equal protection of the laws), 15 (right to non-discrimination on grounds, including of sex), 19 (fundamental freedoms), and 21 (right to life and liberty) of the Constitution that are violated in the cases of sexual harassment. Article 14 was interpreted from the point of view of gender equality, which meant that women have a right to work with dignity, and they are to be protected from sexual harassment. Using Article 15, sexual harassment was seen as discrimination based on sex. Article 19 (1)(g), which guarantees equal opportunity to all citizens to practise any profession or carry on any occupation, trade, or business, was seen to be violated. ­It was observed that a climate of male domination often exists in places of employment, and sexual harassment vitiates a safe working environment for women. Read with Article 21, it implied that no person will be deprived of life or personal liberty at the workplace. Article 42 in the Constitution, which calls upon the state to provide for just and humane conditions of work, laid the foundation for future measures and legal remedies against sexual harassment at the workplace. The Vishaka judgment recognised that sexual harassment violated the constitutional guarantee of gender equality, and women’s fundamental rights to live with dignity, to personal liberty, and to carry on any occupation. Along with fundamental rights, the directive principles regarding securing just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief, and the fundamental duty imposed on all Indian citizens to renounce practises that are derogatory to the dignity of women were also referred to by the Court. Undoubtedly, the Vishaka judgment initiated a discourse in India on sexual harassment at the workplace and benefitted women by reconfirming their right to a safe working environment. It proposed to provide a gender-friendly atmosphere for women at work, by providing a redress mechanism within the workplace in the form of a complaints committee. It was envisaged that a committee consisting of employees and one external member would conduct hearings to address the complaints related to sexual harassment within an organisation. However, one of the major drawbacks of the Vishaka guidelines was that they failed to address sexual harassment of women prevalent in the unorganised sector (D’Souza 2005). The guidelines largely benefitted taxpaying or licenced organisations in the organised sector that follow labour laws, one of which is the legal provision related to sexual harassment (Roy Ghatak 2017). Within a few years of its coming into existence, it was a known fact that it was difficult to implement the Vishaka guidelines, which placed the onus of protecting working women from sexual harassment on the employer and focused on the internal resolution of complaints in the unorganised sector setting, as these are “enterprises whose activities are not regulated under any legal provision or do not maintain any regular accounts” (Salve 2013). The 2013 Act for the Unorganised Sector In the organised sector, a lack of will of the employers and ­insensitive functioning of the committees formed under the Vishaka guidelines remained an issue (Chaudhuri 2006; CII 2005; CFTI 2010; Dasgupta 2001; Dutta 2019; Lawyers Colle­ctive 2002; SARDI 1999). The women’s movement had seen more than a decade of prolonged struggle and dialogue with the government to address low compliance to the Vishaka guidelines by employers and problems associated with the functioning of internal committees (ICs) in the organised sector, along with their limited implementation in the unorganised sector. This resulted in the enactment of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as the 2013 act). The act came into force on 9 December 2013. As the title suggests, it is a gender-specific legislation for women, in recognition of unequal power relations at workplaces. This was an explicit form of affirmative action under Article 15(3) of the Constitution, which allows the state to enact special legislations for women. Section 2 (p) of the 2013 act defines the unorganised sector as a workplace that engages less than 10 workers, while the domestic worker has been specifically defined as per Section 2 (e). Another definition that captures the essence of this sector is: the unorganised sector is one in which women do arduous work as wage earners, piece-rate workers, casual labour, paid and unpaid family labour, whose economic and social conditions are dismal (National Commission on Self Employed Women and Women in the Unorganised Sector 1988). In the present times, when there are differing statistics on employment in the unorganised sector of India—the Economic Survey of India 2018–19 puts it at 93%, and as per a NITI Aayog strategy document, it is 85% (Mohanty 2019)—it is understood that 95% of employed women are engaged in the unorganised sector (GCNI and Deloitte 2019). Further, it is found that sexual harassment of women in the unorganised sector is rampant and widespread (Datta 2012; Neeta and Mazumdar 2010; ­Social and Rural Research Institute 2012; Yugantar Education Society 2003). Section 7 of the 2013 Act mandates the constitution of a local committee (LC) at the district level for addressing complaints coming from the unorganised sector. In keeping with the ­nature of the sector, it is important to delve into the efficacy and efficiency of the LCs. LC members are to be nominated by the district officer (DO) who is either the district collector or a deputy collector as per Section 5 of the act. In Maharashtra, deputy collectors are notified as DOs, and their activities are coordinated by the state government’s Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD). Since the jurisdiction of the LC is an entire district as per Section 6(3) of the 2013 act, and it works closely with the government machinery, it yields considerable power in comparison with an IC whose powers are restricted to only the concerned organisation. However, in the public domain, the information available is limited only to the constitution of the LCs across India, which is also skewed in nature. There is a dearth of information about their functioning (Chhibber and Mahajan 2018; Mittal 2018; PTI 2018). Against this backdrop, this paper examines the working of the LCs. It argues that the functioning of the LCs is fraught with difficulties that originate in the provisions of the act and, thus, are system generated. The paper seeks to strategically analyse the strengths, challenges, opportunities, and risks associated with the functioning of the LCs. In writing this paper, the author has drawn upon her own experience and ­insights gained in working as a member and chairperson of the LC of Mumbai city district.3 Due to the non-availability of research data and/or official statistics by the central government regarding the functioning of LCs, and legal restriction regarding disclosure of case-related details, the author has depended on individual experience spanning from 2015 to early 2020, case laws, and secondary sources, including reports published in the print media. Functioning of LCs The strengths of an LC lie in the powers vested in it by the 2013 act. Under the 2013 act, similar to the IC in each organisation, there is an LC in each district. The LC is the principal mechanism with the power and authority equivalent to a civil court for the resolution of complaints reported from the unorganised sector. On receiving a complaint, at the request of the complainant, the LC can settle the case under Section 10 using its power of conciliation, which can prevent the complainant from being pushed into arduous inquiry procedures that might involve cross-examination and demands for production of evidence to substantiate the complaint. Traditionally, conciliation is understood as a form of out-of-court settlement (Dixit 2019) for concluding disputes between two parties at loggerheads. Conversely, a unique feature of the 2013 act is that conciliation is a formal process recognised ­under the statute. It is to be carried out by the members of the LC as conciliators in the interest of the complainant on mutually agreed terms, which can range from a verbal warning to the respondent by the LC, verbal apology by the respondent to the complainant, and transfer of either of them and other such ­related interventions. However, if the complainant is not willing to avail the option of conciliation or if any of the terms of conciliation are violated, the case can be reopened by the LC and moved for an inquiry. For conducting an inquiry as per Section 11(3), the LC can summon any person before it, enforce their attendance, and record their statement. Additionally, the LC can demand any document from the organisation relevant to the case under inquiry. While the inquiry is pending, the LC can recommend the transfer of either the complainant or the respondent, recommend special paid leave for the complainant for a maximum period of three months, and prohibit the ­respondent from evaluating the performance of the complainant. With respect to complaints reported from the private sector, the LC can recommend a penalty to the DO, who is the appointing authority of the LC. Section 13 of the 2013 act provides for the LC to recommend compensation along with penalty on grounds stated in Section 15, thereby directing the respondents to pay the sum from either their wages or a lumpsum amount. Additionally, if compensation is not paid, the LC can forward the order to the concerned DO for recovery as an ­arrear of land revenue. Further, in complaints registered by domestic workers, the LC can forward these to the police for registration as per provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Such enormous powers vested in the LC indicate that it has a crucial role to play in the prevention and redressal of sexual harassment that occurs in units with less than 10 employees, self-employed professionals, and where the complaint is against an employer, irrespective of the sector. Observations of other LCs and interactions with them indicate that since the LCs are constituted by the district collector and are backed by the district ­administration, including the district offices of women and child departments, they are aware of the above-mentioned powers and exercise them in various ways, which can be understood by the subsequent discussion. Scope of Work Sexual harassment at the workplace is unwanted sexually oriented behaviour resulting from unequal gender-based power relations and has serious consequences for the employment of women (Aggarwal 1992; MacKinnon 1979; Stanko 1988). Different reported cases (Mantri 2016; Scroll.in 2017; Times of India 2017; Vyas and Babar 2015) reveal that whenever the complaint is against a man yielding power in the organisation, there is an invariable failure to protect the career interest of the complainant, leading to their termination or resignation from service (Crasta 2017; Calamur 2017; Dutt 2016; Ganz 2015; Hindustan Times 2015; Joseph 2016; Sen 2015; Shukla 2015). Inaction on the part of the employers to act promptly against a powerful respondent and the disregard of such cases by the government pushes complainants to approach external agencies, such as media, police, and the courts for the redressal of their complaints (Financial Express 2017; Jha 2017; Kidiyoor 2014; Rai 2017). ICs in most organisations were earlier either not existent (Business Standard 2013), ineffective (Barua 2015) or gave a clean chit to the respondent (Vijayraghavan and Philip 2017). In such circumstances, it is important that the inquiry is conducted by an outside body that is not reporting to the person, so that the possibility of the committee members getting pressurised is considerably less, compared to an IC comprising largely of employees. Section 6 of the 2013 act empowers the LC to conduct an inquiry when the complaint is against the employers of the organised sector. However, in none of the cases reported against persons falling in the category of ­”employer” was Section 6 invoked and activated. Inquiries were or are being conducted by ICs comprising employees who directly or indirectly report to the respondent (DNA 2017; Scroll.in 2017). However, the issue arises as to who is an employer. While Section 2(g) of the 2013 act states that heads of a department, organisation, undertaking, establishment, enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit, or officer of an appropriate government or local authority is an employer, the interpretation by courts is different. In a 2014 judgment, the Bombay High Court has ruled that respondents working in various capacities, either mana­gerial, administrative, or supervisory, are answera­b­le for any lapse or wrong on their part to the management. They will be considered as “employee,” and not “employer” (Jaya Kodate v Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University 2014). A major dilemma that arises for the LC is to decide whether the respondent should be considered as an employer, thereby bringing the inquiry within the purview of the LC, or should be considered an employee. In such a situation, it is the discretion of the LC to determine the scope of the inquiry, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. Weighing the lack of trust expressed by the complainant in the IC constituted by the employer as the key factor and thus allowing her to testify before the LC is an important decision towards safeguarding the interest of the complainant. In one of the cases dealt with by the Mumbai city LC, complainants ­refused to appear before the IC formed by the parent ministry for the purpose of inquiry against the head of the institute. Instead, they chose to approach the LC, which was also supported by the LC by taking the case as per the objectives4 of the 2013 act. However, in 2016, the Mumbai suburb LC dismissed the complaint of sexual harassment registered by a teacher against the principal of the school. Citing Jaya Kodate v Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University (2014), the LC states that the principal of the school is not an employer, and therefore, the complaint is not in the purview of the LC. The order further instructs the complainant to approach the IC of the school for grievance redressal. This has left the complainant with no further recourse but to approach the high court against the LC, which is strenuous in terms of time, money, and energy. Procedure of Inquiry After it is established, if the respondent fits the category of the employer, the next issue for the LC to address is the procedure to be followed for inquiry. Section 11(1) of the 2013 act states that the inquiry will be done as per the policy or service rules of the respondent. In this regard, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT)5 notification of 2015 lays down the procedure to be followed by ICs constituted in central government establishments. This can be safely relied upon by the LC as well, per the mandate of the 2013 act. This notification, based on Section 14(2) of Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965 (CCS rules), expects a dual role from the committee. The first is to conduct a preliminary inquiry for procuring a chargesheet from the disciplinary authority, and then holding an elaborate inquiry following service rules. While the procedure appears to be clear and precise, there are serious challenges faced by the LC. The possibility of the LC getting coerced or manipulated is lesser as compared to an IC. The organisational dynamics known to an IC, but not to an LC, is certain to affect the inquiry in many ways. The LC may still be unable to protect witnesses from coercion, intimidation, threats, and retaliation. This was experienced by the Mumbai city LC when the witnesses ­refused to cooperate with the LC in a complaint against a senior government officer. The complainant was on the payroll of a vendor who did not allow the LC to write a preliminary report demanding a chargesheet against the respondent, adding to pendency as the case continues to be under discussion. The complainants have limited options. One of them has app­roa­ched the high court against the government, the employer in this case. Also, since the LC is located out of the organisation, inquiries can become difficult as the context is little known (Jose 2018). Another area of tension is between the disciplinary authority and the LC. The disciplinary authority, at times, may not cooperate with an outside body. This is particularly so in situations when the LC requests issuance of a chargesheet against an influential respondent who is at a senior position within the organisation. The 2013 act is silent on the course of action to be foll­owed by the LC if there is no response from the disciplinary authority, or if the authority denies the need to draw up a chargesheet against the respondent as per Rule 14(3) of the CCS rules. As per Rule 14(2), the committee is to be deemed as the inquiring authority appointed by the disciplinary authority of the respondent. The LC may be at loggerheads with a powerful government department or ministry at the state or central level. In a case before the Mumbai city LC, repeated correspondence with a central government ministry yielded no response, leading to loss of time. The LC has been exploring ways to address the issue using strategies other than litigation. Similar challenges exist for inquiries about employees of the state government. In such contexts, the LC is compelled to ­follow Maharashtra State Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1979 (MSCS rules). In a case before the Mumbai city LC, the LC was required to conduct the inquiry as per Rule 8 meant for imposing major penalties on the respondents found guilty of sexual harassment. For organisations falling in the private sector, the inquiry needs to be done as per procedure laid down by Section 7 of the rules under the 2013 act, which mandate inquiry in complaints of sexual harassment as per the principles of natural justice. A slightly more complex situation unfolds if the respondent does not cooperate with the LC, and this might pave the way for litigation, hampering the timeline designated by the 2013 act. This could consequently cause discomfort to the complainant. This was the situation in ­Global Health Private Limited v Local Complaints Committee, District Indore and Others (2019) wherein the respondent—the medical superintendent of Medanta Superspeciality Hospital—refused to cooperate with the LC of Indore district that was then compelled to initiate an inquiry as per the orders of the district administration, due to the absence of an IC constituted by the hospital. Low Reporting of Complaints Sexual harassment of women at the workplace has been consistently plagued with low reporting (Alavi 2017; CFTI 2010; Dasgupta 2001; Gole 2017; INBA and Netrika Consulting 2017; Lawyers Collective 2002; Saheli 1998; Sakshi 2001; SARDI 1999; Sharma 2014; Social and Rural Research Institute 2012; Yugantar Education Society 2003). Majority of women do not report sexual harassment for reasons such as lack of confidence in the organisation, including its redressal mechanism, low awareness about laws and procedures, the threat of professional victimisation, and fear of ridicule, stigma and embarrassment. These factors are enhanced and accentuated in the unorganised sector where there is a constant fear of losing one’s livelihood and achieving rights is tenuous (Datta 2012), resulting in either low or no reporting of complaints (Jose 2020). Since no data is available in the public domain in the form of statistics or media reporting regarding awareness sessions conducted by LCs across India, it can comfortably be assumed that awareness generation is not happening at a conspicuous scale. However, this has serious implications, as an absence of awareness generation could be the foremost reason for low or no reporting of sexual harassment. Conversely, low or zero ­reporting may be used to justify the passive approach taken by the LC. The 2013 act demands a broadening of its scope from being an idle body waiting to receive complaints to one that proactively undertakes prevention initiatives. Generating awareness about the rights of women employees guaranteed by law and raising their confidence to report incidents of sexual harassment is an important component of the LC’s work. This will help break the silence around the issue and enhance the reporting of sexual harassment. However, most LCs, inclu­ding in Mumbai city and suburbs, have not been able to do outreach programmes due to a lack of monetary support from the central and the state governments that is mandated under Section 8 of the 2013 act. Opportunities It is important to note that in May 2016, there was an amendment to the 2013 act, which renamed the local complaints committee as the LC. This amendment implies that the LC is no longer conceived to be only a complaint resolving mechanism. It should work proactively at awareness generation about the rights of women employees in order to fulfil a key objective of the 2013 act in the prevention of sexual harassment. Prevention campaigns would be helpful in breaking the silence around the issue and enhance reporting of sexual harassment. Practically, the LC has the district government machinery backing it, which provides it a wide scope and reach. Compared to an IC, the LC has wide coverage, as its jurisdiction expands to the whole of the district as per Section 6(3) of the 2013 act. It is pertinent to mention that the Mumbai city LC has drawn up a plan to build alliances with trade unions, workers’ collectives, women’s groups and organisations and various boards created for workers in the unorganised sector for gene­rating awareness about its existence and on the issue of sexual harassment. However, it is at a formative stage due to lack of funds. Additionally, it is in the process of drafting recommendations to the state government for better implementation of the 2013 act. With trained social workers, lawyers and women’s rights activists active in the district, the LC is in an enviable position to recommend actionable measures to the district administration. An interaction with a member of the Pune LC reveals that it, along with women’s groups, has drafted a state-level policy for all LCs across the state, which is yet to be formalised. Another possible area of intervention for the LCs is to receive complaints of sexual harassment against self-employed professionals, more specifically, in instances where the complainant is averse to registering a police complaint. In a reported complaint against a paramedic, the Mumbai city LC was able to obtain a letter of apology as a penalty for posting sexually ­coloured messages to a university student who sought treatment from him. Risks The risks can be deduced from court orders and media reports and from the gap in documenting LCs’ functioning. A prominent one is with regard to the use of Section 14 under the 2013 act by the LC. Section 14(1) of the 2013 act states that if the LC concludes that the complaint was false and registered with a malicious intent, it can recommend action against the woman to the DO or the employer. The Gurugram LC used this provision and allowed a public display of its order regarding a false complaint on a website. This order carries the LC’s recommendation of issuing a written warning to the complainant. It mentions that the penalty was recommended for misleading it, on the basis of findings that there was a disparity between statements by the complainant to the LC and to the company’s IC, including the length of the interval in reporting incidents of sexual harassment (Shoneekapoor.com 2018). This is only one illustration that has come to public knowledge, while there is a lack of nationwide data available with respect to false complaints reported to the LCs. However, it can be stated that the arbitrary use of Section 14 by the LC, such as in the above case, without deeper thought, can discourage and frighten potential complainants from reporting incidents of sexual harassment. It is imperative for the LC to ­understand that complainants may not always be able to provide direct evidence in support of their complaint. Rather, it is clarified by Section 14(1) of the 2013 act that the mere inability to substantiate a complaint or provide adequate proof does not falsify the complaint. Hence, it is important for the LC as well as the IC to be clear about the thin line of distinction between the complainant’s inability to prove a case and their deliberate falsity with malicious intent. Such a provision could act as a trap for the LC members if they do not understand the stealthy, private and subtle nature of sexual harassment and the hesitation on part of witnesses to depose before a formal mechanism such as the LC. Coupled with the prevailing context of low reporting of complaints, the impact of such a provision gets exacerbated. An LC order within the jurisdiction of Delhi dismissed a complaint without inquiring into its merits, because it was lodged beyond the limitation period of three months as stipulated by Section 9(1) of the 2013 act. This order of dismissal was set aside by the Delhi High Court in 2019 (Banka 2019). While the court directed the LC to hear the complainant, the point to be noted is that Section 9(1) allows the LC to condone the delay by three months by recording reasons for the same, provided it is satisfied by the explanation submitted by the complainant for the delay in registering a complaint. The LC needs to interpret such sections in the 2013 act in a liberal manner considering ground-level issues that prevent women from ­reporting sexual harassment and by acknowledging the inevitable existence of hierarchy and power inequalities at a workplace, and the enormous courage it takes on the part of women to register a complaint. The LC ought not to dismiss complaints for exceeding the limitation period in a mechanical manner and, instead, delve deeper into the reasons for delayed reporting. In another instance of mechanical treatment of complaints, an LC in Karnataka dismissed a complaint, stating that the said complaint did not fall within its jurisdiction, without citing reasons. In 2015, the Karnataka High Court set aside this order and directed the LC to issue an order recording reasons as required by Section 7 of the 2013 act, or else proceed with inquiry into the complaint (CLPR 2015). It appears that the LC was not able to issue a reasoned decision. In addition to the mechanical treatment of complaints, the LCs sometimes overstep the limits of their legal mandate. The DO has a legal mandate to monitor the timely submission of annual reports (Section 20), while the overall compliance is to be regulated by the appropriate government as per Section 23 of the act. In one instance, the Gurugram LC exceeded its jurisdiction by issuing notices to private sector organisations ­instructing them to file reports regarding compliance to the 2013 act (BW People.in 2018). Additionally, it appears that the Hyderabad LC dealt with a complaint from an organisation having more than 10 employees, falling within the purview of IC as per the 2013 act (New Indian Express 2020). These are instances of misplaced overzealousness of LCs due to a lack of understanding of the limits of their legal mandate. Moving Forward Working on the social and legal aspects of sexual harassment since 2005 has provided the author glimpses into struggles waged by women complainants for the realisation of their rights. These struggles are more difficult in the unorga­nised sector, with high casual labour that does intermittent jobs at extremely low wages or with uneconomical returns. There is a total lack of job security and social security benefits in the unorganised sector. The areas of exploitation are high, resulting in long hours, unsatisfactory work conditions, and occupational health hazards (National Commission on Self Employed Women and Women in the Unorganised Sector 1988). The 2013 act is pertinent in this context as it is a social legislation to prevent and redress sexual harassment. Social legislations are an active process of preventing or changing the wrong course in society, with an aim to empower groups that are disadvantaged (Fairchild 1944; Gangrade 1978). The Vishaka guidelines and the 2013 act as well as their application to the unorganised sector are outcomes of a long-standing struggle by women’s groups and organisations. The faulty implementation of the 2013 act in the unorganised sector will be damaging and regressive. A grim scenario can be avoided by strengthening the LCs and providing them with adequate budgetary, infrastructural and logistical support. An adequate budget is crucial for the LC to fulfil its broad mandate of working at the preventive level, proactively through awareness-raising activities. This will not only empower LCs but also motivate women to lodge complaints of sexual harassment. The government would do well to document the functioning of LCs across the country in terms of their composition, nature of complaints received, orders ­issued, time taken for issuing orders, and other such related aspects. Gathering quantitative as well as qualitative data with regard to LCs’ functioning, and focusing both on their efficiency and efficacy, is crucial.Views are personal only.(Author is PhD in Social Sciences (TISS) and working on social and legal aspects of sexual harassment of women at workplace since 2005. Currently she is the Chairperson of the Mumbai District Local Committee constituted under Section 6 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (PPR) Act, 2013) Notes 1 Female labour force participation in India has declined from 34% in 2006 to 24.8% in 2020, according to United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) India study (GCNI and Deloitte 2019). 2 In 1985, Bhanwari Devi was selected and trained as Saathin (woman village level worker) under the Women Development Programme by the Government of Rajasthan. In 1992, as part of the state government campaign against child marriage, Bhanwari Devi attempted to stop the marriage of a one-year-old girl in a ­Gujjar family. Men from the community retaliated and punished her by intimidating her with sexual harassment, threats, imposing a socio-economic boycott on her family, which finally resulted in five men raping her in the presence of her husband. She faced numerous obstacles in her attempts to seek justice. Police were reluctant to record her statement or carry out an investigation, and doctors at two government health facilities refused to conduct a proper medical examination. Subsequently, the men were acquitted by the sessions court. The court said, a man could not possibly have participated in a gang rape with and in the presence of his nephew, Bhanwari Devi could be lying that she was gang-raped as her medical examination happened 52 hours after the incident and that her husband could not possibly have watched passively as his wife was being gang-raped because he had taken marriage vows which bound him to protect her. In 1992, under the collective name “Vishakha,” a public interest petition was filed in the Supreme Court of India by women’s organisations and groups against the State of Rajasthan, its Women and Child Welfare Department, its Department of Social Welfare, and the Union of India. The case was cited as an instance of sexual harassment in the context of work and it was said that in the absence of legislation on sexual harassment at workplace, women were left vulnerable and their rights unprotected. 3 The metropolis of Mumbai is divided into two districts, that is, Mumbai city and Mumbai suburbs. Consequently it has two LCs. 4 To provide protection against sexual harassment to women at the workplace, and for the prevention and redressal of complaints of sexual harassment. 5 Office Memorandum F No 11013/2/2014-Estt (A-III) of 2015, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Government of India, North Block, New Delhi. 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Joseph, M (2016): “Just Another Sexual Harassment Story,” HuffPost, 15 July, http://www.huffingtonpost.in/manu-joseph-/just-another-sexual-haras_b_10316528.html. Kapur, N (2009): “Aspirations of Law,” http://nainakapur.blogspot.in/2009/03/aspirations-of-law_03.html?updated-min=2009-01-01T00: 00:00-08:00&updated-max=2010-01-01T00: 00:00-08:00&max-results=4. Kidiyoor, S (2014): “Pay Techie `12.5 Lakh For Sacking Her, Karnataka Labour Department Orders US-Based Firm,” Times of India, 4 November, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/Pay-techie-Rs-12-5-lakh-for-sacking-her-Karnataka-labour-department-orders-US-based-firm/articleshow/45034667.cms. Lawyers Collective (2002): Sexual Harassment at Workplace: India Study Report, New Delhi: International Labour Organisation. MacKinnon, C (1979): Sexual Harassment of Working Women: A Case of Sex Discrimination, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Mantri, G (2016): “‘I Was Sexually Harassed by a Colleague, Fired by My Company,’ A Bengaluru Professional Writes,” NEWS Minute, 23 August, http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/ i-was-sexually-harassed-colleague-fired-my-company-bengaluru-professional-writes -48721. Millett, K (1970): Sexual Politics, New York: Colu­mbia University Press. Mittal, P (2018): “Sexual Harassment at Workplace: SC Seeks States’ Response on Implementation of Law,” Live Mint, 9 January, https://www.livemint.com/Politics/H6byUiQdRnrD2MMZHz3HtO/Sexual-harassment-at-workplace-SC-seeks-states-response-on.html. Mohanty, P (2019): “Labour Reforms: No One Knows the Size of India’s Informal Workforce, Not Even the Govt,” Business Today, 15 July, https://www.businesstoday.in/sectors/jobs/labour-law-reforms-no-one-knows-actual-size-india-informal-workforce-not-even-govt/story /364361.html. National Commission on Self Employed Women and Women in the Unorganised Sector (1988): “Shramshakti: Report,” New Delhi. Neeta, N and I Mazumdar (2010): “Study on Conditions and Needs of Women Workers in Delhi,” Centre for Women’s Development Studies. New Indian Express (2020): “Hyderabad LCC Got Four Complaints in 2019,” 2 March, https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/hyderabad/2020/mar/02/hyderabad-lcc-got-four-complaints-in-2019-2110870.html. PTI (2018): “Only 29% Districts Have Local Committees to Address Sexual Harassment at Workplace,” Indian Express, 24 October, https://indianexpress.com/article/india/only-29-pc-districts-have-local-committees-to-address-sexual-harassment-at-workplace-5416906/. Rai, A (2017): “Single Mother Moves Court against Boss over Abuse at Workplace,” India Today, 1 January, http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/single-mother-moves-court-over-workplace-abuse/1/846984.html. Roy Ghatak, A (2017): “Misleading Dichotomy,” Development and Cooperation, 4 September, https://www.dandc.eu/en/article/indias-informal-sector-backbone-economy. Saheli (1998): “Another Occupational Hazard: Sexual Harassment and the Working Woman,” Report, Delhi. Sakshi (2001): “Study on Sexual Harassment at Workplace,” Delhi. Salve, P (2013): “India’s 93%, 437 Million That Holds up the Economy but Lacks a Voice,” IndiaSpend, 12 April, https://archive.indiaspend.com/sectors/indias-93-437-million-majority-that-lacks-a-voice. Sarpotdar, A (2016): “Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace: A Socio-legal Study of Organised Sector in Mumbai,” Diss, Tata Institute of Social Sciences. SARDI (1999): “Women Workers: Inequalities at Work,” Report of the Survey of Working Conditions of Women Workers in the Industry, South Asian Research and Development Initiative, New Delhi. Scroll.in (2017): “Will Take Action If Found Guilty: ScoopWhoop Responds to Sexual Harassment Case against Co-founder,” 12 April, https://scroll.in/latest/834426/will-take-action-if-found-guilty-scoopwhoop-responds-to-sexual-harassment-case-against-co-founder. 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Sood, A Mehta (2006): “Vishaka v State of Rajasthan,” Litigating Reproductive Rights: Using Public Interest Litigation and International Law To Promote Gender Justice in India, New York: Centre For Reproductive Rights, pp 58−65. Stanko, E A (1988): “Keeping Women in and Out of Line: Sexual Harassment and Occupational Segregation,” Gender Segregation At Work, S Walby (ed), Milton Keynes: Open University Press, pp 91−99. Times of India (2017): “Several People Accuse TVF CEO of Sexual Harassment,” 15 March, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/several-people-accuse-tvf-ceo-of-sexual-harassment/articleshow/57640911.cms. Vijayraghavan, K and L Philip (2017): “Indian Hotels CEO Rakesh Sarna Gets Clean Chit in Harassment Case,” Economic Times, 21 March, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/indian-hotels-ceo-rakesh-sarna-gets-clean-chit-in-harassment-case/articleshow/57741930.cms. Vyas M and K Babar (2015): “Key IL & FS Executive in Trouble Over ‘Sexual Harassment’ Charges,” Economic Times, 19 August, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/key-ilfs-executive-in-trouble-over-sexual-harassment-charges/articleshow/48536006.cms?intenttarget=no. Walby, S (1990): Theorizing Patriarchy, Cambridge: Basil Blackwell. Yugantar Education Society (2003): “A Research Study on the Nature, Incidence, Extent and Impact of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace in the State of Maharashtra,” Nagpur. Cases Cited Global Health Private Limited v Local Complaints Committee, District Indore and Others (2019): Writ Petition No 22317 of 2017, High Court of Madhya Pradesh judgment dated 16 September. Jaya Kodate v Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University (2014): Writ Petition No 3349, 3450 and 3451 of 2013, Bombay High Court judgment dated 13 June. Vishaka Guidelines and Others v State of Rajasthan and Others (1997): SCC, SC, 6, p 241. 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West Bengal Polls: Just By Issuing Circulars & Holding Meetings Your Responsibilities Aren’t Discharged: Calcutta High Court To Election Commission

first_imgNews UpdatesWest Bengal Polls: Just By Issuing Circulars & Holding Meetings Your Responsibilities Aren’t Discharged: Calcutta High Court To Election Commission Sparsh Upadhyay22 April 2021 4:08 AMShare This – xThe Election Commission on Thursday (22nd April) faced censure from the Calcutta High Court over its handling of the elections in West-Bengal amid the COVID crisis. The Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee remarked, “We are unable to reconcile the fact that the Election Commission of India is not able to update us as to what action by way of enforcement of the circulars has been obtained.” Further, the Court underlined that issuance of circulars and holding of meetings by themselves do not discharge the onerous responsibility of the Election Commission of India and officers under its command in due performance of not only the statutory power and authority under the Representation of People Act, 1950 and the Representation of People Act, 1951. The Court also remarked that the Commission had been entrusted with the duty to carry forward the mechanism of upholding the democracy by the use of requisite facilities even in pandemic times like heightened challenge by COVID-19 virus and its variants. The Court expressly observed that it was not satisfied with the materials on record to state that the Election Commission of India and its officers on the ground in West Bengal have enforced their circulars. Importantly, the Court said, “We are sure that circulars are not merely advisories to be wrapped up by the political parties or those involved in the political propaganda or even the public at large.” The Court also stressed that the circulars of the Election Commission of India showed the route map and the protocol for human behavior, meaning thereby the behavior of the political parties, their workers, the people at large and responsible management by the officers including the police and other forces under the command of the Election Commission of India. Lastly, asking the Election Commission of India to return to make submissions with a very short affidavit reflecting on whatever we the Court stated, the Court posted the matters as the first item tomorrow (23rd April 2021).The background of the matter It may be noted that on the last hearing, the Calcutta High Court had asked Chief Election Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer to utilize such Government officials and police force as may be necessary to ensure strict compliance with COVID-19 Protocols & guidelines. The Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee observed this after perusing a report by the Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal with regard to the measures taken for implementation of the COVID-19 guidelines during polls. Earlier this month, the Calcutta High Court had issued directions to the District Magistrate of all districts and Chief Election Officer, West Bengal, to ensure that COVID guidelines for conducting elections are implemented in a strict manner in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in the State. Noting that the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India and Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal, “need to be implemented in the strictest manner possible”, the Court has directed the Administration to ensure the same. Further, the Court had directed that stringent measures must be taken “against persons who fail, neglect or refuse to obey the COVID protocols”. “Callous, irresponsible and nonchalant attitude or the behavior of some of the members of the society cannot be permitted to endanger the lives of the other members of the society”, observed the Order while stating that if any person, whether engaged in election campaigning or otherwise, was found flouting COVID protocols, “such a person must be taken to task immediately”. Case title – Nitish Debnath v. Election Commission of India & Ors. & Sankar Halder & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors. Click here to download the OrderRead OrderTagsWest Bengal Polls Election Commission of India Calcutta High Court West Bengal State Assembly Elections 2021 Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan Justice Arijit Banerjee Next Storylast_img read more

Findings of review into Greyhound stadiums expected shortly

first_imgAudioHomepage BannerNews Findings of review into Greyhound stadiums expected shortly Pinterest Harps come back to win in Waterford WhatsApp By News Highland – August 8, 2019 Facebook WhatsApp Twitter Twitter FT Report: Derry City 2 St Pats 2 Facebookcenter_img Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty Pinterest Derry draw with Pats: Higgins & Thomson Reaction RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Google+ Google+ It’s anticipated that the findings of a review into the future needs of 16 licenses Greyhound Stadiums including Lifford will be published next month. It’s almost a year since the review was first initiated, as part of the Irish Greyhound Boards strategic Plan 2018-2022.The review is expected to provide an assessment of stadium infrastructure and financial sustainability, along with detailed recommendations.Chief Executive of the Irish Greyhound Board Gerard Dolland is hopeful a number of issues within the industry will be addressed thereafter:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/greyhyyuytutyutound1pm.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. DL Debate – 24/05/21 Previous articleFurther calls for urgent review of speed limits in MuffNext articleVacant caravan in Bundoran significantly damaged by fire News Highland last_img read more