Justice Verma Memorial Lecture: Justice Sanjay Kaul on Vishaka Guidelines

18 September, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

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The first Justice Verma Memorial Lecture was conducted today. The ceremony took place at Manas Bhawan in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. The event organised by the Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha-led Justice...

The first Justice Verma Memorial Lecture was conducted today. The ceremony took place at Manas Bhawan in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.

The event organised by the Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha-led Justice Verma Memorial Committee is a joint effort by the Bar Council of India, the State Bar Council of Madhya Pradesh, and the Bar Association of Jabalpur.

Supreme Court Judge, Justice Sanjay K Kaul, speaking at the event focused on ‘Vishaka’ – Digital Solution for Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of sexual harrasment complaints.

Justice Kaul talking about the Justice Verma’s magnamous career said, “It would be appropriate to begin with the most celebrated decision of them all which is Vishaka structure in the state of Rajasthan. Petitioners wanted the Supreme Court to be a forum which could highlight issues, especially because they felt that it had been slow to respond on it”

He further said that, “Justice Verma speaking for the Supreme Court evolved a set of guidelines for preventing and addressing sexual harassment in workplaces. The guidelines not only provided immediate solution for those who were vulnerable but it also kickstarted a lengthy and ongoing movement for a more comprehensive and inclusive set of guidelines for women in workplaces.”

Praising the far-sightedness of Justice Verma, Justice Kaul said, “The sexual harassment act for women at workplaces prevention probition and Redressal Act of 2013 which drew it lineage from the Vishaka guidelines came to be passed more than a decade after Justice Verma’s judgement.”

Furthermore, talking about the ‘Vishaka’ guidelines, Justice Kaul said, “The social objective of Vishaka cannot be attained if there are gaps in the legal protection that creates vulnerability to sexual harassment amongst the section of workers. In this regard it is noticeable that Justice Verma continues to be held in high esteem by the LGBTQIA+ community in the country.”