Cases of sexual harassment at the workplace have gone up year by year since the the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 came into effect. Under the category “insult to the modesty of women at office premises”, 57, 119, and 142 cases were registered in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said last week in reply to a question in Lok Sabha. These figures are from the National Crime Records Bureau, and 2016 is the latest year for which data are available.
State by state, the data showed huge variations. Of the 142 cases in 2016, Bihar alone accounted for more than half, with 73 cases. This was after no cases had been filed in that state in the previous two years. In a number of states, no case has been filed in any of the three years.
In 2015, a large proportion of the 119 cases was registered in just three states — Delhi (36), Telangana (32) and Maharashtra (27), whose respective counts dropped to 9, 8 and 11 in 2016. Delhi and Maharashtra had the highest counts in 2014, with 11 and 10 cases respectively.
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