Kerala HC Asks Production Houses, Film Bodies To Form Sexual Harassment Panel
Kerala HC Asks Production Houses, Film Bodies To Form Sexual Harassment Panel (Pic Credit: Wikipedia)

In a landmark judgement, the Kerala High Court on Thursday said that film production houses have the responsibility to form an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) as per the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

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The court gave its orders on a public interest litigation filed by Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) for establishment of a grievance/redressal mechanism in the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), the body of Malayalam movie actors, as regard prevention of sexual harassment of women at workplaces.

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As soon as the orders came the move was welcomed by a cross section of those involved in the process of film making.

Kerala Film Chamber — the apex body of all the film organisations, its president K. Sureshkumar welcomed the decision and they said they will adhere to it.

“It’s only a question on the formation of it and it could be either done by the Producer’s Association or the Chamber. Very soon we will finalise it,” said veteran producer Sureshkumar husband of yesteryear actress Maneka and the father of national award winning actress Keerthi Suresh.

The order was given by a Division Bench of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly. It also recorded that AMMA (the body of all Malayalam actors) has volunteered to constitute an ICC.

It further pointed out that related associations like the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA), Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce and Malayalam Cine Technicians Association (MACTA) with more than 10 employees should have an ICC as mandated by the statute.

The WCC emerged soon after the actress abduction case in 2017, in which actor Dileep was arrested.

Parvathy Thiruvothu, Revathy, Rima Killingal, Padmapriya, Anjali Menon can take the credit for the formation of the WCC.

Incidentally, AMMA filed an affidavit before the court saying that it has no objection to form the ICC as per the statute and added that it was in the process of forming the committee.

Kerala Women’s Commission had also filed an impleading application in the plea on the ground that it functions exclusively for the benefit and welfare of women in the State and soon after the verdict came, its chairperson P. Sathi Devi welcomed it.

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