While the International Women’s Day (IWD) is being celebrated on March 8 globally & various articles about the women rights have been published, in the absence of any knowledge about the remedial measures and information about the powerful organizations where women can seek the justice for their statutory and fundamental rights we thought mere awareness about their rights shall be meaningless. Hence we decided to publish the article about Maharashtra State Commission for Women, its complaint mechanism, powers, address & contact details.
Establishment & Objectives-
The Maharashtra State Commission for Women is a statutory body, which was constituted under Maharashtra State Commission for Women Act 1993. Some of the key objectives of the Commission are:
1) Improving the status and dignity of women in the society,
2) Investigate into practices derogatory to women and suggest suitable remedial measures,
3) Effectively monitor implementation of laws affecting women,
4) Advise the Government on all matters related to the improvement and upliftment of the status and dignity of women in society,
5) Provide Counseling and Free of Cost Legal Advice to needy women.
The copy of the Maharashtra State Commission for Women Act 1993 can be viewed and downloaded as follows-
Maharashtra State Commission for Women Act 1993
Powers of the Commission-
As mentioned in their official website-The commission is a statutory body vested with powers as applicable to the Civil Court in respect of requisitioning of any public record from any Court or office, issuing orders for the examination of witnesses and documents to enforce the attendance of a person to give witnesses and before the Commission for holding an enquiry in any matter, to appoint any officer of the State or Central Government for holding a enquiry into any question related to women rights’.
Nature of Cognizance of Complaints-
A number of cases pertaining to-
Sexual harassment at workplace, etc. are being recorded at the commission’s office.
Important Aspects of Complaint Mechanism-
1) Free Legal Aid Center (Most Important)-
As mentioned in their official website- ‘In order, to handle cases pertaining to atrocities against woman, the Commission endeavors to offer counseling services to needy woman prior to the commencement of any litigation. For this purpose, a Counseling and Free Legal Aid Center has been established in the Commission’s premises at Mumbai on 18th March 1995. The counselors of the cell analyses the problem of the woman complainant and decide on the course of action. Under section 12(2) of the Maharashtra State Commission for Women Act 1993.’
2) Counselling Cells & Free Legal Aid Services at Zilla Parishad & Municipal Corporations-
In order to reach the woman in distress at district and block places, the Commission has set up counseling cells and free legal aids services to needy woman; throughout the Zilla Parishad, Municipal Councils and Corporations. These cells are run by local NGOs recognized by the State Commission, currently there are 298 such counseling centers in the State of Maharashtra.
3) The Commission has been vested with powers to direct the officers or agencies to investigate the matter and also has further been empowered to check the correctness of the facts put before by such officers & agencies.
Filing Online Complaint/Grievance-
The Maharashtra State Commission for Women has also provided the facility of filing the online complaint through its online portal page, the link of the same is given as follows-
First visit on official website of the commission by clicking on – http://mscw.org.in after opening the home page, click on Registration button & thereafter on ‘Complaint Registration’. Fill the form details and your online complaint would be registered.
Address & Contact Details of the Commission-
As mentioned in their official website, Maharashtra State Commission for Woman, the address of the commission is as follows-
Maharashtra State Commission for Women
Gruhnirman Bhavan, Mezanin Floor,
Gandhi Nagar, Bandra East, Mumbai,
Contact –(022) 26592707
Official Facebook Page-Maharashtra Rajya Mahila Ayog
Google Map-Google Map Link- MSCW
All the information above mentioned is also available on their website. As the free legal aid is provided at the pre litigation stage, the aggrieved or victim women are not only explained about their rights and the consequences of the litigation but also are provided with mental support and appropriate counselling is done by the commission also.
We have observed that the many commissions are not adjudicating the matters filed before them speedily for the willful conspiracy of the state government by not providing them necessary infrastructure, resources & manpower. Yet we recommend filing such complaints before either courts or commissions as the fear of not getting justice from system has resulted into complete injustice.
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