The Bombay High Court on Monday directed a petitioner to withdraw Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which sought orders to direct the Centre to ensure that members of the Internal Complaints Committees (ICC), are protected against pressure from their supporters under Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act (POSH).
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta asked the petitioner to approach the Supreme Court seeking reliefs.
The court indicated that it cannot direct the Centre to “legislate” in the matter and that its powers were only limited to declaring already passed legislation illegal or unconstitutional.
“In Mahabharata, Bhishma Pitamaha had several powers, but when Draupadi de-robing incident happened, he could not use any of his powers. We are like Bhishma Pitamaha…..can not use our powers everywhere. We are subordinate to someone.”
Petitioner Abha Singh, who was heading a POSH ICC for over two years in her previous company had filed a petition stating that members of such committees in the private sector are not provided with any safeguards.
Singh, in her plea contended that the PIL aimed at providing a safe working environment to women by making ICC under POSH resistant to pressure from bosses in organisations.
However, the petitioner decided to withdraw the plea and approach the top court or the competent authority.