These are the first of the kind guidelines issued by a High Court in relation to cases arising out of workplace sexual harassment complaints. Summarising:
- Parties are not to be referred by names, only as Plaintiff or Defendant 1 etc.
- In the body of the order, no personally identifiable information (PII) like email ID, telephone 3, address etc. is to be mentioned. No witness name or their address to be noted.
- Orders/judgments on merit not to be uploaded. It is to be delivered in private & only in Chambers or in camera.
- Entire record to be sealed; only advocate on record can inspect; record not to be digitized by third party without court order; witness deposition not to be uploaded.
- Hearings: in Chambers or in camera only; physical attendance only; advocate and litigant only – Court Master, steno etc permitted and all other support staff like clear, peon to leave court.
- If order to be released in public domain, order of court required.
- Prohibition on publishing name of parties, address etc is absolute and applies to media. Any breach will be contempt of court.
- Court express permission required before disclosing contents of order etc. to media or publishing. Witnesses in addition to oath, to sign statement of non disclosure and confidentiality. Breach is contempt of court.
- Proceedings not to be recorded or transcribed and breach is contempt of court.
- Industrial Tribunal / Labour Court to follow these guidelines.
Download the order here: Mumbai-HC on confidentiality (2220 downloads)