NHRC: Human Rights Commission sent notice to Sports Ministry, SAI, BCCI and sports federations, took cognizance of violation of Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act!
National Human Rights Commission Issued Notices: In the notice, sports federations have been given four weeks to submit detailed reports. The NHRC has said that non-compliance of the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Act is a matter of concern. This may affect the legal rights and honor of the players.
Taking suo motu cognizance of the Indian Express report highlighting non-compliance of provisions under the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Act by National Sports Federations, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday, 11 May 2023, directed the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Also issued notices to the erring sports bodies. The NHRC has also sent notices to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Giving four weeks time to the federations to submit a detailed report in the notice, the NHRC has said that non-compliance of the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act is a matter of concern which affects the legal rights and dignity of sportspersons.
The MC Mary Kom-led committee set up by the government last month Against Wrestling Federation of India President and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh Investigated allegations of sexual harassment on the part of some of the country’s top wrestlers. The complaint pointed to the absence of an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), which is mandated under the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act, 2013.
A report by The Indian Express on 4 May 2023 revealed that the Wrestling Federation was not the only sports body to have violated the law, but 16 of the 30 sports participating in the 2018 Asian Games, the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Commonwealth Games The federations did not fully follow the ICC.
In a statement published on its website on Thursday, the NHRC said, the commission has seen media reports. If this is true then it is a violation of the law and hence it is a matter of concern as it may affect the legal rights and honor of the players.
NHRC sent notice to these federations
NHRC (NHRC) Secretary, Department of Sports (Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs), Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Sports Authority of India (SAI) and BCCI (BCCI) besides 15 other federations in handball, volleyball, basketball, weightlifting, rowing Notices have also been sent to the governing bodies of , gymnastics, table tennis, billiards and snooker, kayaking and canoeing, judo, squash, triathlon, kabaddi, badminton and archery.
NHRC said, they have been asked to submit a detailed report within 4 weeks, including the current status of the ICC in their organization as well as the steps taken or to be taken to resolve the issue.
ICC should have 4 members including 2 women
By law, the ICC must have at least four members, including at least half of them women. One of these would be an external member, preferably from an NGO or association that works for women’s empowerment, or a lawyer who is familiar with sexual harassment issues.
Not only ICC in 5 federations including Wrestling
After reviewing the official declarations of all 30 federations, The Indian Express found that 5 federations, including wrestling, do not even have an ICC. The four federations do not have a fixed number of members; The other six lacked a mandatory external member and one had two panels from a federation, but no independent members.