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BENEFITS OF MEDIATION IN SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASES

Authored by - Mr. Paramjeet Singh

Designation - Student


The problems which are created through process of court battle or litigation proceedings of sexual harassment cases; it causes anticipatory businessmen or senior officers of the organization or company to refer to the substitute means for getting justice done. In recent times, some companies have started using mediation to resolve the claims of sexual harassment.




As sexual acts whether consensual or forced, can be of very private matter for the victim and the victim might not be able to express his or her feelings in the court room with full of people and media reporting every single word. The documents of the case or judgement can be easily and freely accessed by anyone using Internet or filing Right to Information petition and can infringe the privacy of the victim. Along with privacy infringement of the victim, the image or public relations of the company is also on the line and one decision against them can ruin their reputation or credibility for good.

Here comes the mediation as in the proceedings of mediation, there is the element of confidentiality as if a victim or accused share anything with the mediator, the mediator isn’t supposed to share it with anyone else, unless and until with the consent of the person giving such information. This saves the public image of the company as well as the reputation of the victim as this society doesn’t treat the victim of any sexual offence with appropriate respect and equal status. Nonetheless, proceedings of mediation can be commenced with absolute privacy and confidentially which safeguards the privacy and image of the company and the proceedings of the mediation are also very flexible as it is not bound by the Code of Civil Procedure[1] or Code of Criminal Procedure[2] and also there is no need of Lawyers and thus making it cheaper as compared to court proceedings.


Generally, each party of a sexual harassment case or claim brings various subjects to the matter. But mainly, sexual harassment cases consist of three major parties one being: the victim who is, mostly, the employee of the company. Whereas the second party is the accused who is also mostly the employee of the company and third party being the company itself. The victim usually wants to press charges against several issues such as that the victim himself has been harassed or abused in any way and want to feel good about themselves again. The victim mainly wants the unpleasant behaviour against themselves to stop but not on the cost of their career being put on stake. It is a common mental notion that the victim may put a question mark on his or her career by reporting the complaint. Basically, in most of the cases, the victim wishes to keep doing their job normally and pretend like that nothing of significance has happened here. 


Subject to the conditions of the specific case, the victim may wish that the company to rectify any past unjust transaction from which the victim has been refrained such as the loss incurred of not getting a promotion due to the apparent harassment or any back pay which was on hold due to the proceedings of sexual harassment. The victim may very well also wish that company should punish the accused involved in the act of sexual harassment. In the end, the victim normally wishes to stay away from any further mental or emotional trauma sustained during sexual harassment act which includes the possible pain whether mental or financial of a trial. 


The accused of the act generally wishes to safeguard the confidentiality of the nature of the charges however much and as to the greatest length possible and in every way to keep their job in the company as revealing of such charges would likely lead to losing his job and no else company will give him or her the job which will destroy his or her career. The accused may also wish acquittal from this charge if possible. Since for proving of the act sexual harassment one does not require to proof his or her intent, mostly the accused wishes to get to know where he went wrong or what was his or her intent and sometimes he or she would wish the chance to make amends or compensations it any act of unintended harm have caused by them. 


The company themselves wishes to stay away from any type of charge or act of public admission or any kind of liability. If the act of sexual harassment by an employee on another employee has occurred in the company, the company generally wishes to avoid huge sum of compensation and want to pay as less as possible to amend the situation. The company wishes to sustain the output and duty of the labour force and to justify policies of the company. In a perfect world, the company wishes to sustain its good, worthy employees and a pleasant relationship among their employees.

[1] Code of Civil Procedure 1908, (Act 5 of 1908) [2] Code of Criminal Procedure 1974, (Act 2 of 1974)

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