Online RTI Application

How can the guide help you?

The Nyaaya Guide on Online RTI Applications provides applicants with the steps to take when seeking information under the Right To Information Act, 2005. This guide summarises the processes involved in filing an RTI application online, appeals against certain authorities’ decisions, as well as complaint mechanisms for any online grievances. This guide also serves to inform citizens of their rights in seeking information from the central and state governments through their online portals.

What are the laws being discussed in the guide?

The Nyaaya Guide on Online RTI Applications explains the Right to Information Act, 2005, and the Right to Information Rules, 2012.


RTI application

RTI information




Contact Information

The Helpline and email address are for queries faced while filing the online RTI through the portal.

  • 011-24622461 (9:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday to Friday except for Public Holidays)

The Helpline and email address are for queries faced while filing the online RTI through the portal.

  • 011-24622461 (9:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday to Friday except for Public Holidays)


  1. Check whether the applicant is eligible to file an RTI depending on their citizenship and residency status.
  2. Check whether the information required is exempt from disclosure for any reason whatsoever.
  3. Check whether the applicant has addressed the RTI application to the correct public authority.
  4. Check whether the applicant falls under the category of Below Poverty Line. If yes, such applicants are not required to pay application fees. If not, applicants are required to pay a fee of Rs. 10 with their application.
  5. Check that the applicant adheres to the timeline for the online first and second appeal, if made.

Source of Information

  • Guideline

User Manual – Online RTI Application –

Right to Information Act, 2012

Right to Information Act, 2005

  • Important Links

RTI Sample Application Form –


First Appeal Portal –

Second Appeal Information –

Guide on the Rights of Transgender Persons in India

What laws are discussed in this Guide?

This Guide discusses the general provisions in the Constitution of India, the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 and the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020.


Why was the law enacted?

Transgender Persons are not treated as an equal part of society due to lack of social acceptance. Transgender Persons are usually abandoned and

have fewer means for survival and avenues for gaining livelihoods. Parents tend to feel that it is dishonorable to have a transgender person as it will bring shame on the family. Another issue is that of marriage. This Act aims to solve the above issues and more.


What is the objective of the law?

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 (“the law”) has been drafted and formulated to protect the rights of Transgender Persons in India, and provide for their welfare. This law is applicable to the whole of India.

Who is a Transgender Person?

As per the law, a Transgender Person is a person whose gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at the time of birth, and includes:

  • Trans-man
  • Trans-woman
  • Person with inter-sex variations
  • Gender-queer persons
  • Persons with socio-cultural identities such as kinner, hijra, aravani and jogta

What is the legal status of a Transgender Person in India?

In India, Transgender Persons are legally recognised as the ‘third gender’ or ‘other’ gender.

They have the same status as that of any male or female person. They also have the same rights, including the right to exercise their fundamental rights under the Constitution of India. The Supreme Court in 2014 officially declared ‘transgender’ as the ‘third gender’ in India via the landmark judgment NALSA V. Union of India & Ors (2014)

The court held that all transgender persons are entitled to fundamental rights under Article 14 (Equality), Article 15 (Non Disrimination), Article 16 (Equal Opportunity in Public Employment), Article 19(1)(a) (Right to Free Speech) and Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Indian Constitution. In 2020, the parliament legally recognized ‘transgender’ as an official gender in India.


What is gender identity?

Gender identity’ refers to a person’s internal sense of being of a particular gender. This choice is made when a person understands their internal and individual experience of their body, bodily appearance, speech, mannerisms, etc. If a person does not identify themselves with the gender that they are assigned during birth, they can choose to identify with some other gender.

What are the medical options to change your gender identity?

The process for recognizing, accepting and expressing your gender identity is known as transitioning. It can be achieved through the following medical options:

  • Hormone Therapy: This is a form of medicine which helps to increase or decrease a person’s sex characteristics.
  • Gender Affirmative Therapy (GAT): This is a set of procedures, ranging from psychological counselling to sex reassignment surgeries, which aim to change a person’s appearance so that it will conform more strongly with the self-identified gender. For example, Rita was identified to be female at birth, but while growing up, identifies themselves as male, and may undergo GAT to masculinize their appearance through breast removal surgery, etc.
  • Corrective surgery/intersex surgery: These procedures modify sex characteristics and genitals when they are anomalous, meaning when there is no clear distinction between male and female genitals. For example, a child, Nakul, is born with both male and female genitalia, and decides that he self-identifies and feels that his gender is male, and thus undergoes corrective surgery to align more strongly to the male gender.
It is not mandatory for a person to undergo any physical change/medical procedure to choose their gender identity. The laws in India recognise a person’s physiological right to choose their gender identity based on what they are feeling. The person’s physical characteristics do not affect the gender identity that they have chosen.

Does the law permit a person to choose their gender identity?

Yes! The law does permit a person to choose their gender identity.

In the landmark case of National Legal Service Authority v. Union of India and Ors.(2014), the Supreme Court identified the rights of the transgender community as a “third gender.” The Central and the State Governments were also asked to formulate and regulate social welfare schemes and other necessary provisions for the protection of transgender rights.

Case Study: In the case of Anjali Guru Sanjana Jaan v. State of Maharashtra & Ors. (2021), the Bombay High Court observed that for the Village Panchayat elections, the petitioner identified herself as a female while she was a transgender and her application was rejected. The court held that the petitioner had the right to self-identify her gender and accepted her application.

Note: Central and State Governments too have to take steps in recognizing third gender persons as a “socially and educationally backward class of citizens” who are entitled to reservations in educational institutions and public employment. The Government also has a duty to make provisions for the legal recognition of “third gender” in all documents. You can read the Nyaaya explainer on Identification proof for LGBTQ+ for more information.


Can you officially record a person’s gender identity?

The Transgender Law explains how you can officially record your gender as a transgender person:

Step 1- Make an application to the District Magistrate for issuing a certificate of identity as a Transgender Person.  For a minor, the application should be made by the parent or legal guardian of the child. If the parent/legal guardian does not make the application, then the person can apply after becoming a major (i.e., once they are 18 years of age or above). The procedure may be different for each district, so it is advisable to check with your district for particular requirements.

Step 2- The District Magistrate will issue a certificate of identity against the submitted application.

Step 3- The gender of the Transgender Person will be recorded in the official records maintained by the District Magistrate’s office.

Step 4- If a Transgender Person undergoes sex-reassignment surgery after the issuance of the identity card, then the new gender will be communicated by the transgender person to the District Magistrate along with a certificate from the Medical Superintendent or Chief Medical Officer.

Step 5- The District Magistrate will issue a revised certificate.

An example of the application form and the affidavit is given in the sample forms section below.

What are the documents required for getting an Identity Card issued?

Given below are some of the documents you can use to get an Identity Card issued to you:


S. No Name of the official document
1. Birth Certificate
2. Caste/Tribe Certificate
3. Class 10 (Secondary school) certificate or Class 12 (Senior Secondary School) certificate or SSLC
4. Election( Photo) Identity Card
5. Aadhaar Card
6. Permanent Account Number (PAN)
7. Driving Licence
8. BPL ration card
9. Post Office Bank/Bank Passbook with photo
10. Passport
11. Kisan Passbook
12. Marriage certificate
13. Electricity/water/gas connection bill


Note: This is a tentative list of documents. You can reconfirm these as well as ask for more options at your nearest local District Magistrate’s office.

What happens once a person officially records their gender identity as a transgender person?  

Once a person officially records their gender identity, they will receive an official Certificate of Identity as a Transgender Person. The certificate will serve as a  proof of their identity as a Transgender Person. The said person’s gender will be recorded as ‘Transgender’ or ‘Third Gender’ on all official documents.

Case Study: A writ petition was filed seeking measures by the State Government for the distribution of food ration, medicines and access to medical treatment to the transgender community in Kerala. The Court observed in the case of Kabeer C Alias Aneera Kabeer v. State of Kerala(2020), that necessary steps should be taken to ensure issuance of gender identity card and the ration card to transgender persons.



Does the Indian Constitution protect the Transgender Persons? 

Yes. Some of the important provisions in the Constitution protecting transgender rights include:

  • Right to Equality (Article 14) : No one can deny any “person” equality before the law or equal protection of law. Using the term “person” shows that no discrimination is done on the basis of  sex or gender identity.
‘Transgender Persons’ cannot be subjected to unfair treatment in educational institutions or at the time of employment. They also have the right to equal health services, and the right to use public property or the right to freely move in the country.


  • Prohibition of discrimination on various grounds, including gender (Article 15) : Prohibits any sort of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, caste or sex or any of them. This implies that discrimination or ill-treatment of Transgender Persons infringes their basic fundamental right. In the case of Mx. Alia SK v. The State of West Bengal and Ors.(2019), the court held that Transgender persons have the right to seek admission into universities. The judgement is important because it signified the role of courts in ensuring that special accommodations and adjustments are made to include transgender people in the process of public university applications and admission process where none exist.
  • Freedom of speech and expression (Article 19) : This right grants every citizen the freedom of speech and expression. This includes the freedom to express your gender identity publicly.
  • Right to life and personal liberty (Article 21): Article 21 which deals with the protection of life and personal liberty states that no person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to the procedure of law. This right states that every individual including a transgender person has the right to life and personal liberty. The transgender person being a citizen of India should have the full right to protect their life and personal liberty.
In the case of Nangai v. Superintendent of Police  (2014) , the Madras High Court recognized that compelling a person to undergo a medical examination of gender violates Article 21. It upheld a person’s right to self-identify their own gender.

Are there any reservations for transgender persons?

Yes, under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020, Central and State governments can classify them as ‘Other Backward Classes’ for the purposes of vertical reservation.

What other laws protect the rights of a transgender person in India?

  • The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 & Rules: This Act was passed in the year 2020 and it provides Transgender People several rights. The rules act supplementary to the Act.
  • SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989:  If an individual belongs to the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe community, this law protects that  person from any sort of caste/tribe based discrimination.
In the case of Mx Sumana Pramanik v. Union of India (2020), the court reiterated the importance of not just reservations for the transgender community, but also age relaxations and fee concessions for them in examinations. Wherever these provisions for reservations have been made, the Government has to enforce it.


  • NALSA Judgment: In the landmark judgment National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India and Ors. in 2014, the Supreme Court identified the rights of the transgender community as a “third gender”. This case paved the way for transgender persons with the right to choose their gender identity and live their life with dignity.
In the case of G. Nagalakshmi v. Director General of Police (2014), the Madras High Court observed that in the absence of any special law, any person has the liberty to choose their sexual or gender identity, and upheld the petitioner’s right to choose their own gender.
  • Puttaswamy Case: In the landmark judgment Puttuswamy v. Union of India (2017),  with regard to the right to privacy, the Supreme Court observed that there is a constitutional right to privacy inherent in the right to life, equality and fundamental freedoms. This includes the right to have intimate relations of one’s choice and the right to sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Decriminalisation of Section 377 of IPC: The Supreme Court in the case  of Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India(2016) held that LGBTQ+ people in India are entitled to all constitutional rights, including the liberties protected by the Constitution of India.
  • Indian Penal Code, 1860:  Any offence committed by a Transgender Person shall be punished as per the provisions of the Indian Penal Code. The case of Mrs. X v. State of Uttarakhand  (2019) affirmed the NALSA Judgement and stated that a denial of the right to self-identify one’s gender would deny the right to life and liberty. It is especially significant since it is one of the first cases that affirmed the right to self-determination based on the “psyche” of the individual even in the context of the criminal law.
Many people face violence in various forms such as physical, sexual, mental or emotional violence due to their sexual orientation or identity. It is important to identify this violence and reach out for help or to take action to stop the violence. Read the Nyaaya explainer on Violence Based on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation to understand the violence faced by people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973: A transgender person is subject to the same criminal procedural law of arrests, bail, summons, investigation etc.
The National Crime Records Bureau publishes an Annual Prison Statistics India report which includes  the composition of  prisoners. In Karan Tripathi v. NCRB, WRP (Criminal) No. 9596 of (2020), the Delhi High Court stated that now NCRB intends to include transgender in the gender classification of prisoners from PSI-2020.

What can be done if Transgender rights are violated?

The National Council for Transgender Persons was set up under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 for addressing grievances.

Furthermore, violations of Part III rights of Transgender persons can be remedied by approaching the Supreme Court or High Courts under Articles 32 or 226. In addition, other rights guaranteed under various laws are protected by Article 226.

Moreover, violation of rights to the ‘third gender’ constitutes human rights abuse. The State and National Human Right commissions can be approached by the victim.

What is the procedure to file complaints against discrimination of Transgender Persons?

For those facing discrimination during the course of employment, either in public or private sector, do approach the designated complaint officer set up under the the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019[1].

For filing a grievance with the National Transgender Council, create an account online in the National Transgender portal ( On successful registration, click on the ‘Grievance tab’ on your dashboard. Detailed guidelines for the same can be found here – (

If I decide to approach the Court directly, how can I get legal aid services?

You can approach your nearest District Legal Services Authority for availing legal aid. If your annual income is less than the ceiling limit prescribed for each state, then you can enjoy these services for free.


What is the National Council for Transgender Persons (NCTP)?

National Council for Transgender Persons is a statutory body established on 21st August, 2020 by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. It advises the government on all policy matters affecting transgender, intersex persons and people with diverse GIESC (Gender Identity/Expression and Sex Characteristics) identities. The council is composed of-

  • The Union Minister in-charge of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Chairperson, ex officio;
  • The Minister of the State, in-charge of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the Government, Vice-chairperson, ex-officio;
  • Various other representatives from different fields.
The Council was formed on 21st August, 2020 with its headquarters in Delhi under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The Council is headed by Mr. Thawar Chand Gehlot. Its regional members are Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, Gopi Shankar Maduari, Zainab P Rifai, Shayamchand Kokchitbomb, and Meera Parida. The expert members are Reshma Prasad, Aryan Pasha, Vihaan Peethamber and C. Ganeshdas.

What is the role of the National Council for Transgender Persons?

The role of the National Council for Transgender Persons comprises of:

  • Redressal of the grievances of Transgender Persons.
  • To advise, monitor and evaluate the impact of policies made by the Central Government relating to Transgender Persons.
  • To oversee the work of various Governmental and Non-Governmental organizations which are dealing with matters relating to Transgender Persons.


Does the law protect a transgender person from abuse faced from their family?

  • Section 18 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act – This law protects all transgender persons against any form of abuse such as physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, mental and economic abuse by imposing the punishment of imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years and with fine. Unfortunately, it does not prescribe any separate mechanism to lodge a complaint against any of the abovementioned kinds of abuse.

Domestic Violence Act, 2005 – The Domestic Violence Act protects all women including Transgender Women (regardless of their Certificate of Identity) against any kind of abuse by any family member. You can read more in the Nyaaya explainer on Domestic Violence.

What can be done if the family of a transgender individual asks them to move out of their residence due to their gender identity?

As per the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, it is illegal for any family to discriminate against the child or ask the child to move out of the house. All transgender people have the right to:

  • Reside in their family home
  • Make use of all the facilities in their family home without any discrimination.

If any parent or member of the immediate family is unable to take care of a Transgender person, the competent court shall by an order direct such person to be placed in a rehabilitation centre. (Section 12(3) of the Act)

Can anyone estrange or ask a transgender person to move out of their home or community?

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act makes it illegal for anyone to separate a transgender person from their family or ask them to move out of their home, village or community. If anyone tries to commit this offence, then they shall be punished with imprisonment ranging from 6 months to 2 years.

As a transgender, do I have legally protected safe places to stay?

Yes, while transgender persons enjoy the ‘right to residence’ in their own homes, the Government has set up ‘Garima Grehs’ to help those without homes.

Are there any conditions to be met to reside in ‘Garima Grehs’?

The following conditions are to be fulfilled:

  •   Should possess certificate issued through the National Portal for Transgender Persons and preferably living below the Poverty Line
  •   Abandoned, aged above 18 years and below 60 years
  •   Not engaged in sex work and beggary
  •   Unemployed and not engaged in productive commercial activities

How to apply for a certificate on the National Portal for Transgender persons?

First, create an account online in the National Transgender portal ( On successful registration, click on the ‘Apply online’ tab on your dashboard. Fill in the personal particulars and other details in the online form. Upload the affidavit declaring gender. This portal helps a transgender person to obtain an identity card without a physical interface.  Detailed guidelines for the same can be found here – (


Can a transgender person get married in India? If so, under what law?

A transgender person can get married in India either under personal religious laws (for instance the Hindu Marriage Act or Indian Christian Marriage Act) or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. In the case of Arun Kumar v. Inspector General (Madras) (2019), it was observed by the  Madras High Court that a marriage solemnized between a male and a transgender women, both professing Hindu religion, was considered to be a valid marriage in the eyes of the law.

Case Study: In the case of Chinmayjee Jena v. State of Odisha (2020), the Odisha High Court delivered the first judicial decision in India that explicitly recognizes the right of trans persons to enter into a live-in relationship with the partner of their choice, regardless of the “gender” of the partner.

Can a transgender person file for divorce from their spouse? 

If they are legally married, then they are eligible to file for divorce under the law under which they had gotten married initially. In case of live-in relationships, there is no legal requirement to get a divorce.

What are legal safeguards for a Transgender Woman facing abuse/harassment from their spouse/live-in partner? 

Any person identifying themselves as a Transgender Woman and facing any form of abuse such as physical, emotional, economic or sexual abuse, is eligible for protection under the Domestic Violence Act. Read this Nyaaya explainer on Live-In relationships to understand more about protections under this law.


Does the law protect Transgender Persons against sexual harassment?

  • Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act – Under Section 18 of this Act, it is illegal for any person to sexually abuse any transgender person.
  • Indian Penal Code – All transgender women can seek protection under all the sections of the Indian Penal Code protecting women from sexual abuse. This was mentioned by the High Court of Delhi in the case of Anamika v. Union of India(2020).
  • Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace – If any transgender person faces sexual harassment at their school/college, then it will be considered as Sexual Harassment at the Workplace. Any transgender student is eligible to file a complaint with the Internal Complaints Committee of the said school/university.

Does the POSH Act provide any mechanism for the protection of the rights of the Transgender person against sexual harassment at workplaces?

In accordance with the requirements under the POSH Act, (The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013), organisations shall put in place adequate grievance redressal mechanisms for transgender individuals to deal with harassment complaints, while keeping the identity of the complainant anonymous.


What are the duties of workplaces or establishments with regard to the welfare of the Transgender Persons?

Employers cannot discriminate on any issue relating to the employment of a Transgender Person. All establishments should comply with the provisions of the Transgender Law.  They have the duty to designate a person as a complaint officer to deal with the complaints relating to the violation of this Act.

Does a Transgender Person have the right to use Public Transport?

Yes, all Transgender Persons have the right to use all forms of public spaces and transports intended for general use of the public. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act makes it illegal for any person to prohibit the usage of public transport or space by a Transgender Person.

Can a transgender person vote?

Yes, just like any other gender, a Transgender Person who is a major (above 18 years of age) is also entitled to vote in India. The voter registration form also has the option of ‘other’ under the category of gender. Along with the right to vote, the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act provides that there shall be no discrimination in holding any public office, which means that a Transgender Person can contest in elections as well.


Sample Form

Application for Transgender Certificate of Identity

Contact Information

  • Toll free number of Sahaay Helpline, aided by an international NGO and supported by Humsafar Trust, is functional 24×7 – 1800-2000-113.
  • Any Transgender Person can connect with experts on the Helpline Number 8882133897 regarding their  mental health. This helpline will be functional from Monday to Saturday between 11 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 5 PM. On this helpline, counselling services will be provided by professional Psychologists for their mental health.
  • The Queerythm helpline-  9745545559. It is available in English, Malayalam and Tamil.


Glossary Terms

  • Trans-man: A transgender person who has transitioned from female to male.
  • Trans-woman: A trangender person who transitioned from male to female.
  • Person with inter-sex variations: People born with ‘intersex variations’ have characteristics that fail to fit the typical definition of a female or male body. Intersex variation can be physical, hormonal or chromosome-related.
  • Gender-queer persons: Non-binary or gender-queer is an umbrella term for gender identities that are neither male nor female‍—‌identities that are outside the gender binary.
  • Gender affirmative Hormone Therapy: Gender affirmation hormone therapy is medicine prescribed to help a person gain the outward characteristics that match their gender identity.

Guide on Applying for Legal Aid

How can the guide help you?

The Nyaaya Guide on Applying for Legal Aid helps citizens understand how to obtain legal services free-of-cost from Legal Services Authorities in India. This includes information on online and offline application for legal aid along with eligibility criteria to request legal aid. It is important for the citizens to understand how to apply for legal aid so as to ensure that the opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disability.


What are the laws discussed in the guide?

The Nyaaya Guide on Application for Legal Aid discusses the law on legal aid outlined in the Constitution of India1, 1950, Code of Criminal Procedure, 19732, Code of Civil Procedure, 19083 and Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.


  1. Check whether the applicant is eligible for free legal aid.
  2. Ensure the applicant has all the relevant documents required for seeking legal aid.
  3. Decide the mode in which application should be filed – online or offline.
  4. Look for the nearest Legal Services Authority if the offline mode is chosen.
  5. Approach the front office of the concerned Legal Services Authority to get the legal aid application form, to seek legal advice, to know status of the case and for any further legal assistance.


Sources of Information

  1. Claiming Free Legal Aid / Application Procedure, National Legal Services Authority, available at
  2. Getting Started Guide, National Legal Services Authority, available at
  3. Websites of State Legal Services Authorities, National Legal Services Authority, available at
  4. Front Office Guidelines, National Legal Services Authority, available at
  5. Legal Aid, Nyaaya, available at
  6. FAQs, National Legal Services Authority, available at
  7. The National Legal Services Authority (Free and Competent Legal Services) Regulations, 2010 available at ree-and-competent-legal-services-regulations-2010

Workplace Guide for Persons with Disabilities

How can the guide help you?

The Nyaaya Guide for Persons with Disabilities at the Workplace helps persons with disabilities (PwDs) understand their employment rights and associated remedies.

What are the laws being discussed in the guide?

This guide discusses the rights of persons with disabilities outlined in the Constitution of India, 1950, The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (PwD Act), The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2017, and the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Who is a ‘person with disability’?

A person with disability is a person with long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment, which restricts their full and effective participation in society equally with others.

Who is a person with “benchmark” disability?

A person with benchmark disability is someone who has at least 40% of a specified disability.

Specified types of disabilities include:

1.   Physical Disability

  • Locomotor Disability: Inability to perform activities associated with movement. People with locomotor disability include those with cerebral palsy, dwarfism, muscular dystrophy, acid attack victims, etc.
  • Visual Impairment: A condition of blindness or low vision.
  • Hearing Impairment: Deafness or loss of hearing.
  • Speech and language disability: Permanent disability affecting speech and language.

2. Intellectual Disability

Significant limitations in intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem solving) and adaptive behaviour (everyday social and practical skills) including specific learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.

3. Mental Illness

Substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that severely impairs judgement, behaviour, capacity to recognise reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life. This does not include mental retardation.

4. Disability caused due to

  • Chronic neurological conditions: Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease
  • Blood disorders: Haemophilia, Thalassemia, Sickle cell disease Multiple Disabilities: More than one of the above specified disabilities.
  • Any other type of disability specified by the Central Government.

Disability Certificate

Why should you apply for a Disability Certificate?

A Disability Certificate gives you the right to apply for facilities, concessions and benefits under schemes put in place by the Government, and Government-funded

NGOs for persons with disabilities. The disability certificate is valid throughout India.

How can you apply for a Disability Certificate?

The Government specifies qualified and experienced people as certifying authorities competent to issue the Disability Certificate. Anyone with a specified disability can apply (using Form-IV) for a certificate of disability to:

  • a medical authority or other competent authority in the district where the applicant lives (according to the proof of residence in their application); or
  • the concerned medical authority in a government hospital where they are undergoing or have undergone treatment for their disability.

A legal guardian or concerned registered organisation can apply on behalf of a minor or a person unfit or unable to make the application themself.

For disability certificate form download, refer “Form-IV” in References here.

Find the nearest medical authority here.

What are the documents required with the application?

Attach the following with the application:

  • proof of residence;
  • two recent passport size photographs; and
  • Aadhaar number or Aadhaar enrollment number, if any.

Decision of the authority

The concerned authority will verify the information and assess the disability. If the authority thinks the applicant is a person with disability, they will issue a certificate of disability within a month. This could be a permanent certificate of disability, or a certificate with a validity period if the disability might vary over time. For example, if an employee has a hand injury which would take one year to heal, the authority could issue a temporary certificate of disability valid for one year.

If the authority finds the applicant ineligible, they will communicate this to them in writing within one month.

To check disability certificate or UDID card status, you can track it here by entering your enrolment/UDID card number/Request Number/Mobile Number/Aadhar number.

For disability certificate download, log in here using your enrolment number/UDID card number and date of birth.

Unique Disability ID (UDID)

What is a Unique Disability ID (UDID)?

You can now apply for a Unique Disability ID (UDID) in the form of the

Swavlamban Card. A Swavalamban/UDID Card contains all necessary details and is a single document for identification and verification of a person with disability for getting various benefits.

You can use the UDID card online portal to:

  • Apply for Disability Certificate and UDID Card online
  • UDID Card renewal
  • Apply for a lost UDID Card
  • Download e-Disability Card and e-UDID Card

How to apply for UDID Card online if you do not have a Disability Certificate

Fill an online application and attach scanned copies of the required documents. Choose the option “No” to “Have Disability Certificate?” in the Disability Details Tab while filling up the application, and submit the application.

How to apply for UDID Card online if you have a Disability Certificate

If your  data has been migrated to the UDID Portal, click “Already having Disability Certificate” and provide Beneficiary ID/State ID or Aadhaar Number (if linked), other details, fill up the application and submit.

If your data has not been migrated to the UDID Portal, fill up a fresh application and select the “Yes” option to the question “Have Disability Certificate?” In the Disability Details Tab, fill up other details and submit the application.

For UDID card download, log in here using your enrolment number/UDID number and date of birth.

Rights of PWD


What are the Employment-related Rights for a

Person with Disability  under the Constitution?

Right to Equal Opportunity

All citizens must have an equal opportunity in matters related to employment or appointment to Government positions. The Government can also make provisions for reserving appointments or posts for any backward class of citizens who are not adequately represented in Government services.

Government’s responsibility

The Government should try to make effective provisions and provide public assistance for persons with disabilities to secure employment.

What are the Employment-related Rights under the PwD Act?

Right to Vocational Training and Self Employment

Under Government schemes and programmes, persons with disabilities can get loans at concessional rates to support their employment, especially vocational training and self employment.

These schemes try to:

  • Include persons with disabilities in all mainstream formal and non-formal vocational and skill training schemes and programmes;
  • Ensure that a person with disability has adequate support and facilities to avail specific training;
  • Provide exclusive skill training programmes for persons with disabilities with active links with the market, for those with developmental, intellectual, multiple disabilities and autism;
  • Market products made by persons with disabilities; and
  • Maintain data on the progress made in the skill training and self employment of persons with disabilities.

Right against Discrimination

Government establishments should not discriminate against persons with disabilities in employment. However, depending on the type of work, the Government might exempt an establishment from this requirement. For employees with disability, Government establishments:


Make reasonable adjustments and provide an appropriate barrier-free environment which is helpful for persons with disabilities. This involves designing physical spaces and information systems in such a way that persons with disabilities can easily access them. Deny promotion only on the ground of disability, or sack an employee who acquires a disability during their service.


If an employee is not suitable for the post after acquiring a disability, the employer can shift them to some other post with the same pay scale and service benefits. If it is not possible to adjust the employee against any post, the employer can keep them on an additional post until a suitable post is available, or till the age of retirement (whichever is earlier).

The Bombay High Court ordered a government employer to pay back wages to employees with disabilities from the date that their respective services were discontinued until the date that they were provided with an alternative position.

Right to Reservation in Employment and Promotion

Every Government establishment should keep aside at least 4% of total vacancies in the cadre strength in each group of posts for persons with benchmark disabilities. However, depending on the type of work, the Government might exempt an establishment from this requirement.

Out of the 4%, 1% each must be reserved for the following categories:

  1. blindness and low vision;
  2. deaf and hard of hearing;
  3. locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy.
  4. autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness, multiple disabilities.

If a suitable person with benchmark disability is not available for recruitment in a year, the employer will carry forward their vacancy to the succeeding recruitment year. If they are unavailable in the succeeding recruitment year also, the employer can take the Government’s approval to first fill the vacancy by interchange among the different categories. The employer can fill up the vacancy by appointing someone other than a person with disability only if there is no person with disability available for the post that year.

The reservation in promotions will be according to Government instructions.

Special Employment Exchange and Unemployment Allowance

The Government maintains offices or places as “Special Employment Exchange” for collecting and giving information about—

  • employers who want to employ persons with disabilities;
  • persons with benchmark disability seeking employment;
  • vacancies for persons with benchmark disabilities seeking employment.

For the Special Employment Exchange, the Government can order private and Government employers to give information about their vacancies for persons with benchmark disability.

The Government can make schemes for providing unemployment allowance to persons with disabilities registered with Special Employment Exchange for more than two years and not placed in any gainful occupation.

Employment in the Private Sector

The Government tries to provide incentives to private sector employers to ensure that at least 5% of their workforce is composed of persons with benchmark disability.

For example, a Government scheme under which employers need not deposit the EPF/ESI contribution for their PwD employees.

What are the Rights of a Person with Disability under Income Tax laws?

Under Section 80 DD, any expenditure by an individual or Hindu Undivided Family resident in India on the medical treatment (including nursing), training and rehabilitation etc. of dependants with disability can be deducted,  up to Rs. 75,000, or Rs. 125,000 in case of severe disability (80 %).

Under Section 80U, a person with disability resident in India can claim a deduction of up to Rs. 75,000, or Rs. 125,000 in case of severe disability (80 %).

How to file a complaint for violation of rights?

Anyone who feels that a Government establishment is discriminating against persons with disabilities can file a complaint with the Grievance Redressal Officer (GRO) (appointed in every Government Establishment).

The GRO will investigate the issue within two weeks and take up the matter with the establishment for corrective action. The GRO will also maintain a register of complaints.

If someone is not satisfied with the action taken on their complaint, they can approach the District-Level Committee on Disability.

What is the punishment for violating the law?


Violating any provision of the PwD Act or Rules First offence – Fine up to Rupees ten thousand

Subsequent offences – Fine of Rupees fifty thousand to five lakh

Fraudulently getting benefits meant for persons with benchmark disabilities Jail time up to two years and/or fine up to Rupees one lakh
Atrocities such as:

●     Intentionally insulting or intimidating a PwD to publicly humiliate them

●     Assaulting a PwD to dishonour them, or outraging the modesty of a woman with disability

●     Using one’s position to sexually exploit or dominate the will of a child or woman with disability

●     Voluntarily injuring, damaging, or interfering with the use of any limb or sense or supporting device of a PwD

Jail time of six months to five years and a fine



  • Divyangjan Swavalamban Yojana: Providing concessional credit to start any income-generating, pursuing vocational or skill development, etc.
  • Prerna: Marketing assistance for products made by persons with disabilities
  • State-wise schemes here

Source of Information

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2017

Glossary Terms

Person with Disability: A person with disability is a person with long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment, which restricts their full and effective participation in society equally with others.

Sample Forms

Form IV for applying for Disability Certificate

Guide for Survivors of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace


How can the guide help you?

This guide by Nyaaya and Ungender helps those who have faced sexual harassment at the workplace to navigate the legal process in such situations. The guide clarifies legal aspects including what constitutes sexual harassment, remedies or safeguards available to the survivor, investigation procedure, punishments, etc.

The guide’s objective is to help survivors of sexual harassment secure a safe  work environment and enable them to take action against sexual harassment by a colleague, visitor, or anyone else at a workplace.

What are the laws being discussed in the guide?

This guide discusses the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (“POSH Act”), The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Rules, 2013 (“POSH Rules”) and the  Indian Penal Code, 1860, (“IPC”) which criminalizes offences such as sexual harassment, stalking, and voyeurism and provides alternative criminal complaint mechanism.


What is sexual harassment at the workplace?

Sexual harassment at the workplace is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favours, or other kinds of unwelcome sexual behaviour which would make you feel offended, humiliated, or intimidated.

‘Sexual Harassment’ includes  unwelcome sexual behavior (directly or by implication) such as:

Physical contact and advances 

  • Forceful or unwanted, unnecessary physical touch, physical assault, or molestation
  • Forceful and repeated invitations for dates
  • Forceful or unwanted kisses or hugs
  • Unwanted, unwarranted touching of any body part
  • Stopping or blocking movements within a workspace
  • Sitting too closely and making you feel uncomfortable (if you move away the person moves closer to you again).

Sexual favours

  • A demand or request for sexual favours
  • Any favour or advantage granted in return for a sexual favour from you

Note: Sexual favors could mean requests for lewd conversations, interactions, engaging in perverse talks, entertaining similar conversations, and the actual physical act of indulging with a person sexually.

 Sexually coloured remarks

  • Derogatory comments about your body or dress, slurs, epithets, or sexually suggestive jokes
  • Comments on your personal life with sexual undertones
  • Subtle innuendos or open taunting about your physical appearance or body shape
  • Sexual metaphors, obscene jokes, or jokes causing or likely to cause awkwardness or embarrassment.

Showing pornography or other sexually offensive or derogatory material

  • Displaying sexually suggestive objects or pictures, cartoons, calendars, or posters
  • Sending nude pictures or pornography
  • Showing lewd images or jokes or offensive material to anyone in your presence
  • Sharing lewd images or jokes or offensive material on company/team Whatsapp groups or on virtual meetings.

Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

  • Making sexual gestures like leering, whistling, staring
  • Gender-based insults and/or sexist remarks
  • Eve-teasing
  • Stalking, whether physically or on social media
  • Repeated friend requests on your social media
  • Calling you persistently at odd hours or beyond working hours
  • Insisting on your video mode to be turned on at all times in virtual meetings, even when company rules do not require it
  • Persistent questions about your personal life
  • Calling you names such as ‘sweetie’, ‘darling’ or ‘honey’
  • Making someone expose their private parts to you or repeatedly staring at your  body parts
  • Written communications of a sexual nature distributed in hard copy or via a computer network, suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations
  • Text messages or emails which are sexual in nature.

Quid Pro quo

Indirect or direct promises of benefits to an employee in return for sexual favours,  also known as Quid Pro Quo. Quid pro quo (literal meaning “this for that”) is an exchange proposition that may reflect in one or more of the following situations:

  • Hiring
  • Payment of salary or compensation
  • Promotion
  • Retention decision
  • Relocation or transfer
  • Allocation of job, responsibility, or work

Indirect or direct threats to harm employment unless sexual favours/dates are granted, including: 

  • Loss of promotion
  • Loss of employment
  • Negative performance evaluation
  • Undesirable work allocation
  • Denial of equal opportunities

Hostile Work Environment

Sexual harassment at workplace is not limited to one single situation, experience or incident. The entire experience of a woman’s experience at work over a short/long period of time can be created as an environment which is hostile towards her as a specific person of a gender. This may reflect in the form of interference with work or creating an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment through:

  • Lewd, unwanted acts including sexually coloured remarks, staring, forcible physical contact
  • Displaying pornography
  • Gender-based insults or sexist remarks
  • Not including a person in projects or meetings on account of gender
  • Refusing to acknowledge someone’s presence in meetings or work on account of gender
  • Sexist comments during meetings.

Humiliating treatment likely to affect an employee’s health or safety, such as:

  • Physical confinement or behaviour which violates privacy
  • Creating a work environment where the situation forces a woman to be in an uncomfortable and inappropriate company of a male colleague or associate
  • Making queries and gossip related to a woman’s private and personal life.



What is a ‘workplace’?

Sexual harassment has to occur at a ‘workplace’  and can happen inside your workplace, in the cafeteria, any common rooms, etc. This also includes an  ‘extended workplace’, meaning any place that you visit for work or during your employment. For example, you can complain if you face sexual harassment in transportation provided by your employer for commuting to and from the place of work, external conference avenues, etc.

There are three categories of workplace that are important to understand:

  1. Primary workplace: These could be virtual, remote, or physical work spaces that everyone including you recognise as a place where you visit or are present for work;
  2. Extended workplace: These are the places which are visited by you, or where you are present for the requirement of your work. Example of extended workplaces are transportation to and fro from work and for work reasons, conferences, events, coffee houses, hotels, client sites, and more;
  3. Virtual workplace: All the platforms and modes of communication used for the purpose of delivering on your work duties. Examples of virtual workplaces are emails, phone calls, Whatsapp, Slack, video meetings, audio meetings, online forums, and more.

What kind of organisations or workplaces are covered under the law?

The POSH law applies to all workplaces in India – both the organized and unorganized sectors.

A common understanding easily confuses the requirement of this law with a minimum number of employees. It is important to acknowledge that the law is applicable for organizations mentioned below of any team strength, however, the requirement of having an Internal Committee kicks in with 10 or more members.

The law applies to organizations including:

  • Government bodies or institutions
  • Private and public sector organizations
  • Non-Governmental organizations
  • Organizations carrying out commercial, vocational, educational, entertainment, industrial, financial activities
  • Hospitals and nursing homes
  • Educational institutes
  • Sports institutions and stadiums
  • Dwelling places or houses.


Working from home is considered an extension of the workplace and gets covered under the POSH law even if you are working from a remote location.  Some kinds of inappropriate online behaviour can also be crimes under the Information Technology Act, 2000, also known as online abuse or online violence. Courts of India have clarified that virtual workplaces and homes are workplaces for the purposes of the POSH Act. Read more on the Ungender Blog.


Who can complain against sexual harassment at the workplace?

Gender of the Complainant and Respondent

The law states that the complainant should be a woman. Also, the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 clarified that any person associated with a workplace who identifies themself as a woman, is eligible to file a complaint under the POSH law.

A complaint can be filed against a person of any gender.

Recently, the Calcutta High Court clarified that same-gender complaints are allowed under the POSH law. The Court held that people of the same gender could complain of sexual harassment against each other. Read more in the Nyaaya Daily and Ungender Blog.


Association of the Complainant and Respondent

Female employees working at the organization or workplace, visiting the organization, and even interns have a right to complain against workplace sexual harassment. POSH complaints can be filed by:

  • Domestic workers
  • Regular employees
  • Temporary employees
  • Employees hired for a specific purpose
  • Daily wage employees
  • Contractual employees
  • Employees on probation
  • Employees from agencies
  • Trainees and apprentices.
All employees, regardless of whether they are working for a salary, on a voluntary basis or otherwise have a right to complain under the POSH law. Further, if any woman visiting an organisation gets harassed by any of the employees of such organisation, she can file a complaint with the Internal Committee of that organisation.


Complaint Filing Process

How can you complain against sexual harassment?

Follow the steps given below to file a complaint to the Internal Committee (“IC”) or Local Committee(“LC”) :

  • You can file a sexual harassment complaint in writing with the IC. You need to submit six copies of the complaint. However, most companies nowadays are also accepting complaints by email or a scanned copy of the written complaint sent on email.
  • You cannot file an anonymous complaint. You have to disclose your name and relevant details to allow the respondent to provide a proper response. Read more at the Ungender Blog.
  • Try to make the  complaint  concise, and write it in simple language which can be understood easily.
  • The complaint must be submitted within three months from the date of the incident. If there are a series of incidents, it should be submitted within three months from the date of the last incident. If there is sufficient reason for a delay in filing the complaint, the IC or LC may extend the time for filing the complaint by an additional three months, after recording the reasons for the extension  in writing.
  • Submit the written complaint and any supporting documents along with the witnesses’ names and addresses to the IC or LC. You can add as many documents as possible in any format i.e., relevant emails, screenshots of SMSs/Whatsapp messages, call details, photographs, recordings, etc., to the complaint.
The law also allows friends, relatives, co-workers, psychologists and psychiatrists, etc., to file the complaint on your behalf if you cannot make the complaint due to physical incapacity, mental incapacity, or even after your death.


Do take reference from the sample forms section for the format of the complaint. While you may be aggrieved and in a lot of emotional trauma at the time of filing the complaint, it is crucial that you provide the following details  as specifically as possible:

  • Name of the Respondent, their place of work, and designation.
  • Details of the incident/s (as explanatory as possible). No detail is irrelevant.
  • Dates of each and every incident mentioned.
  • Place where the incident/s happened.
  • Relief that you want from the employer, including transferring the accused, compensation, etc.

While the above are a must for the IC to accept a proper complaint, you can also support the complaint with the following details:

  • Members who were present at the time of the incident/s happening.
  • Any person to whom you have mentioned the incident in the past.
  • Screenshots, images, audios, videos, phone records, or anything that will provide support to your complaint.
  • Any information even remotely related to the complaint information, like the working relationship between the survivor and accused, if any (whether subordinate, colleague, or superior).

What temporary relief measures can the survivor get during a pending inquiry? 

During a pending inquiry, the survivor can make a written request to the IC or LC to recommend the following measures to the employer:

  • Transfer of the survivor or accused to any other workplace.
  • Granting leave to the survivor up to three months in addition to her regular leave entitlement.
  • Any other relief requested.
  • Restraining the accused from reporting on the work performance of the survivor or writing her confidential report.

        Authorities and Complaint Forums

Who should you complain to against sexual harassment at the workplace?

Every employer must set up an ‘Internal Committee’ (“IC”) to hear and redress complaints relating to sexual harassment, at each office or branch of the organization  having ten or more employees. An employer will be fined if the IC is not set up at such workplaces.

What is the role of the Internal Committee?

The IC looks into complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace, and decides on complaints after analysing  the facts and evidence. An IC has the same powers as a civil court,  including the power to:

  • Summon or call individuals and ensure their attendance
  • Question those involved in the complaint under oath
  • Ask for production of documents.

Who are the members of the Internal Committee?

An IC must have:

  • A senior-level female employee  as a Presiding Officer.
  • Two members from amongst the employees, preferably committed to women-centric causes or having experience in social work or legal knowledge.
  • An external member from an NGO or association working for women, or someone familiar with sexual harassment issues.

At least half of the IC members must be women. The members can remain on the IC for up to 3 years. For every inquiry into a complaint, a minimum of 3 members of the IC, including the Presiding Officer, have to be present.

What is a Local Committee?

Every district has a Local Committee (LC) which receives complaints of sexual harassment:

  • From establishments which do not have an IC due to having less than ten workers; or
  • If the complaint is against the employer themself.

The members of an LC include:

  • A female Chairperson from the field of social work or working for women.
  • A woman representative working in the block, taluka, tehsil, ward or municipality in the district.
  • Two  members from an NGO or association for women’s rights, or familiar with sexual harassment issues (out of which at least one must be a woman).
  • The concerned officer dealing with social welfare or women and child development in the district.

At least one LC member should be a woman belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes or a minority community, and at least one member should preferably have a background in law.

The LC also has the same powers as a civil court and their powers are similar to the IC.

What are the mechanisms for organizations without an IC?

  • If the organization has 10 or more employees, and has still not constituted an IC, write a letter to the employer/head of the organization educating them about the same (a format is given below).
  • If the organization refuses to do so, send a copy of the same to the District Officer informing them of the status (a format is given below).
  • Alternatively, you may also submit your complaint on the SHe-box portal and the portal will reach out to your employer on the same.
  • Reach out to the LC for filing a complaint with them. Technically, you should just contact your employer and it is their duty to find the LC for you (if they have less than 10 members).

What are the alternative complaint options?

Apart from the IC in your workplace, you can file a sexual harassment complaint with any of the following authorities:


Sexual harassment violates not only the POSH law but also the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), which criminalizes offences such as outraging a woman’s modesty, sexual harassment by a man, assaulting a woman with the intention to disrobe, voyeurism, stalking, and insulting the modesty of a woman. Read more in the Nyaaya explainer on Sexual Crimes.

National Commission for Women and State Commissions for Women 

Complaints can be filed online, via post, and in person with the National or State Commissions for Women. Go to the resources section below to read more.

“SHe-Box” by Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD)

“SHe-Box” is an online complaint platform by the Indian Ministry of Women and Child Development (“WCD”). SHe-Box allows female employees or visitors to raise complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace. It is a platform available for both the private sector and public sector. It aims at providing speedy redressal of sexual harassment complaints.

If a formal complaint is lodged with SHe-Box, based on an assessment of the complaint, the WCD will direct the complaint to the employee’s IC or the LC. The WCD also monitors the progress of inquiry conducted by the IC/LC and keeps the complainant updated. Any information given on this platform is kept confidential.

Note: You can file parallel complaints with the SHe-box, Women’s Commission, IC, and Police. Please remember that once you reach out to the Women’s Commission or SHe-box, they will focus on ensuring that the IC/LC starts an official investigation, whereas police procedure is a parallel process and is not mutually exclusive.


Redressal Process

How does the Internal Committee look into the complaint?

The IC or LC must complete their inquiry into every complaint of sexual harassment within ninety days from the submission of the complaint. After completing an investigation, they must prepare a report of findings.  If sexual harassment is proved, the IC may recommend that the employer  take action against the accused.

What are your rights as the Internal Committee investigates your complaint?

  1. Right to Information: The IC must educate you on the investigation procedure details with timelines, responsibility of all parties to maintain confidentiality, methodology, etc. at all stages of the investigation, be it when you file the complaint or any time during the investigation when you want clarity.
  2. Right to Confidentiality: The IC is bound to ensure that all the information that you are sharing with them as part of the complaint and during the course of investigation is kept confidential to the purpose of investigation. Only the IC members, Respondent, witness/es and authorities who need to know certain information will be made privy to it. Additionally, the IC also needs to take necessary measures to maintain confidentiality. This may include getting all parties, including you, to sign non-disclosure undertakings and more.
  3. Right to Transparency: The IC, as part of the investigation process, must share all information with you as well as the Respondent in order to provide both parties an equal opportunity to defend their complaint/rebuttal.
  4. Right to Fairness: The IC is bound to ensure that both you and Respondent are provided a fair and just treatment from the beginning till conclusion of  the investigation with absence of any form of bias and judgment. These are called ‘principles of natural justice’. Read more at the Ungender Blog.
  5. Right to Conciliation: As a part of your right to be fully informed of the investigation procedure, the IC has to inform you of the right to conciliate matters between you and the Respondent. However, money cannot be a part of such conciliation.
  6. Right to a Non-Retaliatory Environment: The IC is bound to ensure that all necessary measures are undertaken to redress any retaliation/victimisation that you might have to face because of your complaint.
  7. Right to File a Police Complaint: At any given point in time, if you wish to file a police complaint, the IC will need to extend all necessary support to you.
  8. Right to Interim Relief: During an on-going investigation, which starts at the time and day of you filing a complaint, the IC can and should educate you on the possible options you have as interim relief and extend the same to you.

What is the timeline for addressing the complaint?

Given below is the timeline for addressing complaints:

  • When the IC or LC receives the complaint, it should send one copy of the complaint  to the accused within seven working days.
  • The accused should reply to the complaint along with a list of supporting documents and names and addresses of witnesses within ten working days. 
  • The IC’s or LC’s inquiry  must be completed within  ninety days of receiving the complaint.
  • The IC or LC must make the inquiry report within ten days  of completing the inquiry.
  • The employer must act on the IC’s or LC’s recommendations within sixty days of getting the inquiry report.
  • Anyone not satisfied with the IC’s or LC’s decision can appeal against them  within ninety days.

Can the case be settled or conciliated? 

Yes, conciliation or settlement of the case can happen in IC or LC complaints made at workplaces. Conciliation is an informal method of resolving complaints before the complaint escalates into a formal inquiry.

Appeal Process

An appeal against the decision of the IC can be filed under following circumstances:

  • In case you are aggrieved with the decision of the IC; or
  • Aggrieved with non-implementation of the decision given by IC; or
  • Punished for filing a false/malicious complaint; or
  • If there has been a breach of confidentiality.

An appeal has to be filed with the ‘appellate authority’ under service rules. For example, many public sector organisations and government entities under their rules have an appellate body. If no such service rules exist, then an appeal has to be filed to the office notified by the State government. For instance, in the NCT of Delhi and Maharashtra, the Industrial Courts have been identified as appellate authority. Depending upon which State you are in, the appellate authority will be required to be identified.

This appeal has to be filed within ninety days of the decision of the IC. You can engage a lawyer for such appeals.

Types of Reliefs and Punishments

What are the punishments for committing sexual harassment at the workplace?

A person guilty of workplace sexual harassment can be punished as per the service rules of the organization, and other disciplinary actions  (if there are no service rules), including:

  • Written apology to the survivor
  • Warnings, reprimands, censure
  • Withholding of promotion
  • Withholding of pay rise or increments
  • Termination from service
  • Undergoing a counseling session
  • Carrying out community service
  • Deduction of compensation payable to the survivor from the wages of the accused
  • Compensation to the survivor.

The proportionality of the consequences and punishment decided for each allegation/set of allegations vary on various factors. IC’s are required to consider aspects pertaining to the authority/seniority of the perpetrator, duration, frequency, degree of offence, category, and ONLY at the end of an independent investigation decision, may also incorporate if there are any prior warnings given to the perpetrator.

How is the compensation amount decided? 

The compensation payable by the accused is decided by the IC or LC based on:

  • The mental trauma, pain, suffering, and emotional distress caused to the survivor
  • The loss in career opportunity due to the incident of sexual harassment
  • Medical expenses incurred by the survivor for physical/ psychiatric treatment
  • The income and financial status of the accused
  • Whether the accused can pay the compensation in a lump sum or installments.


Contact Information 

  1. SHe-Box Application
  2. National/State Commission of Women Complaint Mechanisms:
  • Call 1091: Call 1091 and describe the crime in detail. Give your address and contact number. A police unit will then be sent to the address given to assist the survivor with the steps that need to be taken.
  • Online: The National Commission for Women has an online complaint system known as Complaints Registration and Monitoring System where a survivor can fill in details and file a formal complaint. The following information has to be given:
  • Details of the complainant (the person who is filing the complaint),
  • Details of the survivor (woman who has faced the violence),
  • Details of the accused and
  • Details such as:
    • Particulars of the Incident
    • Date and Time
    • Place of incident
  • Email: You can file a complaint with National Commission for Women  by sending an email to with any details regarding the sexual assault, such as the description of the person who allegedly commited sexual violence, or the description of the incident.
  • Post/ Letter/ Messenger: You can write a letter  to the National Commission for Women, to this address: National Commission for Women, Plot-21, Jasola Institutional Area, New Delhi- 110025


  1. Draft a written complaint.
  2. Clearly mention the details of the incident(s) along with the circumstances preceding and following the incident.
  3. Mention details of the accused including name, designation, reporting structure between complainant and accused if any (whether subordinate, colleague or superior).
  4. Make six copies of the complaint.
  5. Submit any supporting documents with the complaint.
  6. Submit the names and addresses of any witnesses who are supporting your complaint.
  7. Mention relief sought by you.
  8. Submit your complaint to the IC within three months of the sexual harassment. If there is a delay, the IC may hear your case after giving written reasons.
  9. Submit requests for any interim measures required while the IC is investigating the complaint.
Note: It is a prevalent reaction by a woman to delete obscene messages and details from their phone, mailboxes, or message windows. A common mistake in hindsight when a woman decides to file a complaint is that it becomes difficult for her to procure evidence/s that will substantiate the content of her complaint. Even if you do not possess certain evidence/s, but you believe they can be procured by someone in authority, or because of their knowledge, please inform the IC at the time of filing your complaint. It is then their responsibility to ensure that that evidence is retrieved.

Women generally worry about the lack or absence of evidence/s and witness/es, and thereby refrain from filing a complaint. Lack of evidence/s and witness/es does not mean that your complaint is false or without any merit. Please do not be concerned too much about this. As long as incidents alleged by you happened, be truthful and detail everything to the IC.


Sample Forms

Source of Information


  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Rules, 2013.
  • Indian Penal Code, 1860.
  • The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013.



Glossary Terms

  1. Conciliation: A mutual agreement between parties to settle a problem between themselves peacefully.
  2. Interim measure: Actions taken during the pendency of an enquiry (90 days period) by the IC to provide some relief to the aggrieved.
  3. Ex-parte decision: Decision taken in the absence of one party.
  4. Witness: Any individual who was present at the time of a specific incident occurring or was privy to the happening of the said incident.
  5. Cross-examination: A process of questioning the statement, facts, and narrative by an individual with challenging enquiry
  6. Confidentiality: A mandated protection under the law provided for all individuals involved in a specific case investigation for their identity, content of a case/allegations, and output of the investigation.
  7. Inquiry report: A final document summarizing all details pertaining to a specific complaint with observations, minutes of meetings, conclusions, findings, and recommendation.
  8. Aggrieved: A person, cis-woman, or a person who identifies as a woman, who has experienced a sexual misconduct in a workplace.
  9. Complainant: A person, cis-woman, or a person who identifies as a woman, who has experienced a sexual misconduct in a workplace and filed an official complaint with the IC.
  10. Respondent: A person, irrespective of their gender, against whom a complaint of sexual misconduct has been filed.

Guide to Accessing Safe Abortions

How can the guide help you?

The Nyaaya Guide to Accessing Safe Abortions aims to highlight the rights available to women accessing abortions and the processes to be followed for a safe and legal abortion.

What are the laws being discussed in the guide?

The primary law being dealt with is the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (MTP Act), and the associated Rules and Regulations. We have also referred to the Constitution of India, 1950 and the Indian Penal Code, 1960.

As per the 2018 national Sample Registration System data, the total estimate of maternity-related deaths in the country was around 26,437. While the exact percentage of this number contributed by complications from unsafe abortions is difficult to pinpoint, it is an undisputed factor contributing to this death rate. The aim of this guide is to make you aware of your reproductive rights and various processes under Indian law, and to deter women from accessing unsafe abortions and avoiding complications like maternal and infant mortalities and related morbidities.

Data on Maternal Deaths:


17 2500 7363
Number of points Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has declined by Additional mothers saved annually Estimated Annual Maternal Deaths avoided


Are abortions legal in India?

Yes, abortions, or medical terminations of pregnancy, are legal in India. However, there are certain conditions prescribed for going ahead with an abortion.

‘Abortion’ is not the term used in law. While ‘abortion’ is the colloquially used term, the law refers to the process as a ‘medical termination of pregnancy’.

In practice, this includes two methods – medical terminations and surgical terminations, which the World Health Organization recognized as the two safe methods of terminating a pregnancy. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020, proposes to include a definition for the term ‘medical termination of pregnancy’ to include these two methods. However, the Bill is yet to become a law.


Do you have the right to demand an abortion?

While in principle you have a fundamental right to make reproductive choices, the final decision to grant you the abortion will depend upon the satisfaction of the authorised doctor.

Courts have linked the right to access abortions and other reproductive health services to the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution, including the right to decisional privacy. However, doctors can only conduct an abortion if they are of the opinion that a case/request falls under one of the grounds listed in the law.


Doctors can perform two different kinds of abortions:

  • Medical abortions
  • Surgical abortions.

When you approach a doctor for an abortion, the first step is to do an ultrasound to ensure that the foetus is inside the uterus. Many times, it can be outside the uterus, for instance, in the fallopian tube. A pregnancy in the fallopian tube can cause a medical emergency and needs an operation.

What happens in a medical abortion?

  • A medical abortion is done before 9 weeks of pregnancy by administering two kinds of pills, Mifepristone and Misoprostol.
  • After the doctor has conducted your ultrasound and ensured that you are eligible for a medical abortion, the first type of pill, Mifepristone, will be given to you at the clinic. This pill acts against the progesterone in your body, i.e. cuts off the nutrition to the foetus.
  • The second type of pill, Misoprostol, makes your cervix soft to ensure everything comes out like a period.
  • The pills must be administered within 24 to 72 hours of each other. This is different depending on which doctor you go to. They can also be taken at home.
  • You must visit the doctor again after taking all the medication to check that the abortion has been successfully carried out.
  • These pills are only available with a doctor’s prescription and should not be taken without consulting a doctor.
  • It is also illegal for the pharmacist to sell these pills without prescription. It is a jailable offence.

What happens in surgical abortions?

  • Surgical abortions are done after 9 weeks of pregnancy.
  • As the name suggests, a surgical abortion is a surgical procedure that an authorised and experienced doctor conducts on you.
  • In this procedure, the doctor will give you a medicine that softens your cervix along with some anesthetic or sedative. Sedation or anesthesia is used to reduce pain and/or trauma during the procedure.
  • Doctors use vacuum aspiration and go in through the vagina (outside of the vulva) and suck the contents of the uterus out.
  • This is a very safe procedure but it must be done by someone with experience. If inexperienced persons do this, there can be complications like infertility in the long run.


A woman can medically terminate her pregnancy if she is:

  • Up to 12 weeks pregnant, with the permission of one registered medical practitioner.
  • From 12 to 20 weeks, with the permission of two registered medical practitioners.
  • Post 20 weeks, registered medical practitioners can terminate a pregnancy if they deem that the abortion is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman.
Requesting an abortion after finding out the sex of the fetus is illegal in India. The law punishes those who request such abortions as well as medical practitioners partaking in identification of sex of the fetus. The punishment for both is jail time upto three years, along with a fine up to Rs. 50,000.


For a doctor to legally terminate a pregnancy, they must believe that there is:

  • A risk to the life of the pregnant woman, or grave injury to her physical or mental health.
  • A significant risk that if the abortion is not carried out, the child so born would suffer from physical or mental abnormalities and be seriously handicapped.
A pregnancy is considered injurious to the woman’s mental health if it is caused by:

  • Rape.
  • Failure of contraceptives or preventive methods. This is applicable only to unwanted pregnancies of married women. Presently, there is a Bill pending before Parliament that seeks to make this provision available to both married and unmarried women. Until then, this presumption only applies to married women.


The doctor will consider the pregnant woman’s actual and reasonably foreseeable environment while deciding whether continuation of a pregnancy would affect her mental or physical health.


Only doctors who are Registered Medical Practitioners can administer abortions via the pill or surgery.

Abortions conducted by unregistered or unauthorised practitioners or clinics can be unsafe for the woman and can cause severe medical complications contributing to maternal mortality and/or morbidities. Before approaching a clinic or a doctor, it is advisable to find out if they are registered as per law.

If you have reason to believe that the doctor who conducted your abortion or the clinic where it was performed was not authorised, please visit another doctor and/or hospital. You can file a complaint to the police and report such unauthorised persons or clinics as well. You can find the punishments for unauthorised persons and clinics conducting abortions here.


Don’t worry! The police and/or courts will not punish you for approaching an unregistered practitioner or an unauthorised clinic if you did not know that they were not authorised at the time of the abortion.

Do make sure you visit an authorised doctor at the earliest and get yourself checked. Medical complications from an unsafe abortion can be severe and cause further problems to your health.

REMEMBER: It is important to complain about such persons and/or clinics to prevent unsafe abortions.


In emergency situations, where a doctor who is not a registered medical practitioner needs to conduct an abortion to save the life of the pregnant woman,  they can do so in good faith.


A woman above the age of 18 seeking an abortion does not require anyone else’s consent or permission to obtain it. Only her consent is required. To ensure proper consent is taken, the doctor/clinic will make the woman requesting an abortion sign Form C.

Consent form to be signed by woman requesting abortion

Some doctors will require another person to be there with you during and after the procedure. Having an abortion can be a traumatic experience, both physically and mentally. You need someone to help you as the effects of anesthesia take some time to wear off, and to be there for you in case you face anxiety or need any other form of support.

In case a pregnancy is requested for a minor, the consent of her parent or guardian is required. In cases of abortions requested for mentally ill persons, the consent of the guardian is required.

REMEMBER: Married women do not need the consent of their partner before terminating their pregnancy. Only the woman’s consent is required. Doctors are not required to ask women to furnish their marriage certificate to conduct an abortion.


Abortion for Minors

All doctors are legally obligated to report a pregnancy of a minor in India. This is because the age of consent in India is 18 years, and a pregnancy of a woman below this age is considered a result of rape.

This is a mandatory requirement for all doctors, not just the ones conducting abortions. For instance, an ophthalmologist who conducted an eye exam on a pregnant minor was arrested for not reporting such a pregnancy.

This duty to report applies in cases of married minors too.


All hospitals established/maintained by the Government or hospitals approved by the Government to perform abortions are allowed to carry out procedures to terminate pregnancies.

As for private facilities, only those with a certificate granted by a District Level Committee can perform abortions.


Govt authorized hospitals and private facilities with a certificate to perform abortions Illegal vans with mobile ultrasound units


There have been recent cases of illegal abortions being conducted in vans with mobile ultrasound units. According to rules under the PCPNDT Act, your ultrasound machine has to be registered, and remain in the authorised place and cannot be moved. In Uttar Pradesh, tracking devices are now being added to ultrasound machines so every single ultrasound you do will be tracked.

Would you be punished for availing an abortion from an unauthorised place?

If the pregnancy is causing significant distress to your mental health, the MTP Act protects you from punishment in such a case.

How can you ensure the clinic or the doctor conducting your abortion is authorised to do so?

  • You must ensure that the doctor conducting the abortion has an MBBS degree. Doctors with BAMS, BMS, BHMS degrees are not legally authorised to perform abortions.
  • You can also check if your doctor has a postgraduate degree after the MBBS degree, such as an MS degree, in the field of gynaecology or obstetrics, but this is not an essential requirement. However you must ensure that they have a certification of a 6 months authorised course from a government approved centre.
  • There is no combined list of authorised centres online, but you can check if you are at an authorised clinic  by checking if the doctor is an MBBS doctor working in a gynaecology and obstetrics related setting.
  • In a village or a rural area, ensure that the doctor has at least an MBBS degree, because even medical abortions can be life threatening.



The doctor will ask you for the following details (probably as a form to be filled):

  • Your age
  • Your consent (Note: Nobody else’s consent is required here)
  • Previous medical condition, if any – like bleeding disorder, etc.
  • Any previous children
  • Any previous medical or surgical abortions conducted
  • Any allergies to any of the medications they will administer during an abortion
  • Date of your last period to calculate the age of the pregnancy.

Things that you don’t need for an abortion:

  • Disclosure of your marital status – If the pregnancy is having a significant impact on your mental health, you are within your rights to seek an abortion.
  • Anybody else’s consent – If you are above the age of 18 years and of sound mind, you do not need your partner’s or parent/guardian’s consent to get an abortion.

In some cases, the hospital/clinic may ask you to bring someone along with you for support after the abortion is done. This does not mean that their consent is required for the procedure.

Will the clinic keep your information private?

Yes, the head of the hospital will keep information related to the termination of pregnancy (including the consent form) in safe custody.

An admission register will contain the serial number given to the patient for the termination of pregnancy, and the register will be kept secret as well. The clinic will keep this register for 5 years, after which it will be destroyed. The details about the pregnant woman will not be disclosed to anybody, including family members, police or specific authorities mentioned in law.

The Court can request to see this register in medico legal cases. In such cases, only the Court will have access to copies of the register and no one else

Even where your doctor refers you to another doctor for a treatment related to your abortion, the details of your abortion must be kept private.

Can you get medical leave from work after an abortion?

Yes, if the woman asks for a certificate, the doctor can grant a certificate to the woman upon termination of her pregnancy for her to get medical leave from work. Once a certificate is submitted to the employer, they are prohibited from disclosing these details to anybody.

At some workplaces, you can take a paid leave if you have an illness arising out of the abortion procedure you underwent. Such leave can be availed under the maternity benefits law. To check if your workplace is covered under this law, read this explainer.

The Court can request to see this register in medico legal cases. In such cases, only the Court will have access to copies of the register and no one else

Even where your doctor refers you to another doctor for a treatment related to your abortion, the details of your abortion must be kept private.




Abortions cause infertility.  If performed correctly, abortions will not make you infertile. However, if you are given an abortion when you have had an ectopic pregnancy that causes you to lose one of your fallopian tubes, it will impair your fertility (it still won’t make you infertile).
Abortion causes PCOS or breast cancer. No, abortions don’t cause either.
Safe abortions done by doctors do not cause any damage to the uterus.  If you get an abortion from an untrained doctor, there could be chances of complications. 




The medical information on abortions in this guide has been provided by Dr Tanaya Narendra, also popularly known as Dr. Cuterus. More information on reproductive rights and sexual health can be found on her handle here.


Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules, 2003

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Regulations, 2003

The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994


Safe Abortions: Technical and Police Guidance for Safe Abortions, World Health Organisation


Case law:

Suchita Srivastava & Anr vs Chandigarh Administration

Devika Biswas vs. Union of India



  • Ensure you visit a doctor and have an ultrasound done before getting an abortion.
  • Ensure the place or the doctor you are visiting to have the abortion is registered and authorised under law.
  • Ensure you read Form C carefully before signing it. As an adult woman, only your consent is needed for the procedure.
  • If someone is forcing you to get an abortion, please file an FIR with the police.

Sample Forms

Consent form to be signed by woman requesting abortion

Form C

(See rule 8)

I ________________ daughter/wife of_______________ aged about _____ years of __ (here state the permanent address) __ at present residing at _____________________________

do hereby give my consent to the termination of my pregnancy at ___(State the name of place where the pregnancy is to be terminated)__Place:


Signature(To be filled in by guardian where the woman is a mentally ill person or minor)

I_________________________son/daughter/wife of__________________ aged about __________ years of _____________________at present residing at __(Permanent address ) ____ do hereby give my consent to the termination of the pregnancy of my ward ______________________ who is a minor/lunatic at ____(place of termination of my pregnancy)__.




Certificate Issued to Clinic/Hospital authorised to conduct abortions


Form B

(See sub-rule (6) of rule 5)

Certificate of approval.

The place described below is hereby approved for the purpose of the Medical termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 ( 34 of 1971).


Name of the Place

Address and other descriptions

Name of the owner



to the Government of the ________________


Form available at

Offline RTI Application

How can the guide help you?


The Nyaaya Guide on Applying Offline under RTI provides applicants with the steps to take when seeking information under the Right to Information Act, 2005. This guide summarises the processes involved in filing an RTI application offline, appeals against certain authorities’ decisions, as well as complaint mechanisms for any grievances.


What are the laws discussed in the guide?

The Nyaaya Guide on Offline RTI Applications explains the Right to Information Act, 2005 and the Right to Information Rules, 2012 and the Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005.


Contact Information

If you want to file a second appeal or a separate complaint for rejection of application to receive certain information or you do not receive information in the prescribed time period, you can file an appeal or complaint with the Central Information Commission in the contact details given below.
Address: August Kranti Bhavan, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi & Old JNU Campus,
New Delhi – 110 067.
Phone: 26183053
Fax: 26186536.


State Information Commission

If you face any difficulty/ query with respect to filing an RTI application, you can contact your state’s Information Commission. The helpline contact details for each state can be found here.




  1. Check whether you are eligible to file an RTI depending on your citizenship and residency
  2. Check whether the information is exempted from being disclosed for any reason whatsoever.
  3. Check that the particulars of the information to be sought, your name and postal address are clearly mentioned in the RTI application.
  4. Check whether you have addressed the RTI application to the public authority that is connected to the information sought.
  5. If you require any assistance, check that the concerned PIO offers the assistance while making the application.
  6. Check whether you fall under the category of Below Poverty Line. If yes, you don’t have to pay application fees. If not, you have to pay a fee of Rs. 10 with your application.
  7. Check the prescribed mode of payment as given in the Centre and State Rules.
  8. If the RTI application is rejected, check whether the reasons for rejection are provided along with relevant information about filing an appeal against such rejection.
  9. Check that you adhere to the timeline for the first and second appeal, if made.
  10. Check that the first appeal is made to the senior officer of the concerned PIO and that the second appeal is made to the concerned Central or State PIO.



Guide to Lawful Protesting

How can this guide help you?

The Guide to Lawful Protesting helps you understand your right to protest as a citizen and empowers you with the knowledge of how to carry out lawful protests, steps to follow to take necessary permissions from the police or other relevant authorities, and your rights as a protestor.

read more

What are the laws being discussed in this guide?

To discuss the relevant laws in place under which you need to acquire permissions to carry out protests, it is important to note that ‘law and order’ is a subject covered under the State list in the Constitution of India, 1950. This means that every State has the power to make its own laws and rules that govern law

read more


As a citizen of India, your right to protest flows from two fundamental rights guaranteed to you under Article 19 of the Constitution of India, 1950 – freedom of speech and expression and the right to assemble in a public place without arms. However, it is important to know that this right is not an unconditional right and comes with certain limitations and requirements. This means that you can exercise your right to protest by way of a peaceful public gathering provided you take all necessary permissions from authorities and maintain public order while doing so.

read more


Where to apply?

You need to get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the police station within whose jurisdiction you have planned the public gathering for the protest. Some police departments may have a specific form or permission that

Details to include in the application

This application for the NOC or any specific permissions for the protest must have the following details:

  • Your name, address, and contact number, along with details of other organizers of the protest.

How to submit the application

Your application can be in a simple letter format with the above mentioned contents if the police department in your city does not have a specific form to be filled.


Can permission for a peaceful protest be denied?

Yes, police authorities can deny permissions for protests. While you have a right to protest, you must know that this is not an unconditional right. There are certain reasonable restrictions2 imposed by the Constitution of India, 1950 on this right under which the police can deny your request. The police can deny your

Can permission for an ongoing protest be revoked?

Yes, permissions for ongoing peaceful gatherings or protests can be revoked by imposing a prohibitory order under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. It is often colloquially referred to as imposing a curfew in a particular area.

If permission is denied, can you appeal?

If your application for holding a public gathering or a rally for a protest gets denied by the Senior Inspector of the police station or the Deputy Commissioner of Police(DCP), you can make an appeal to the Additional Commissioner of Police(ACP).


A prohibitory order is an order passed by either the District Magistrate, Sub-Divisional Magistrate or Executive Magistrate empowered by the State when immediate prevention is required and when such orders or direction would prevent or is likely to prevent:

  • Any obstruction, annoyance or injury to any person or a danger to human life
  • Health, safety, or disturbance of public tranquility
  • Riot or an affray

A Section 144 order is directed either to individuals or a group of persons residing in a

read more

What happened in the Ramlila Maidan Case?

In 2011, there were mass protests in the country against the rising corruption. One of the groups protesting was Baba Ramdev and his supporters at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. On the midnight of 4-5 June 2011, a prohibitory order under Sec 144 was imposed and protestors were forcibly evicted.

read more


Key steps to follow

Always remember to follow the steps given below during any protest:

  • Carry permissions with you: Please make sure that you and all other organisers of the protests have copies of the permissions granted to you for the protests along with any other permissions for use of loudspeakers, tents, etc.
  • Maintain public order: As an organiser or participant of a protest, it is your fundamental duty to maintain public order and peacefully voice your opinions. Your right to exercise your fundamental right to speech and expression should not violate the rights of other citizens not participating in the protest to access public places or services.

read more

In 2020, the Supreme Court delivered a judgement in the context of the Shaheen Bagh protests opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. In its judgement, the Court said that while citizens have the right to peaceful protest, demonstrations which exhibit dissent should take place only in designated places. The Court also said that public ways and public spaces cannot be permanently occupied by protesters, and the right to protest must be balanced with the right of commuters to conveniently access public roads and pathways.(( Amit Sahni v. Commissioner of Police and Ors. CA No. 3283 of 2020, Supreme Court of India))


If you are a woman, please note that your arrest can only be carried out by a woman police official. It is also important to note that women cannot be arrested between sunset and sunrise, i.e. 6 PM and 6 AM. In the exceptional circumstance when the woman has to be arrested at night, the woman police officer has to take permission in writing from the local Judicial Magistrate. To know more about the law on arrest, please read Nyaaya explainer on Arrest.

What are your rights if you are arrested during a protest?

During the course of a protest, if you, as an organiser or a participant, are arrested, you have the following rights:

  • Right to inform a family member or friend of your arrest
  • Right to access a lawyer. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you can request the services of the District Legal Services Authority.
  • Right to be informed about the charges being levied against you that are recorded in the arrest memo
  • Right to read and examine the arrest memo before signing it. You must also be given a copy of this arrest memo.

read more


Emergency Numbers:

Police Contact Numbers

  • Delhi Police Contact Numbers, given here
  • Mumbai Police Contact Numbers given here
  • Bengaluru City Police Contact Numbers given here
  • Kolkata Police Contact Numbers given here


  1. Check if there is a curfew or any prohibitory orders like Section 144 in the area you want to protest in
  2. Apply for an No Objection Certificate (NOC) from either the local police or the Deputy Commissioner of Police(DCP) office
  3. Mention the correct details in the NOC application including duration of protest, reasons for protest etc.
  4. Obtain separate permission for loudspeakers and tents for the protest
  5. Make arrangements for first aid, water etc. during protest
  6. Ensure that the protest is peaceful and without violence

Guide on Registration of Inter-religious Marriages

How can the guide help you?

The Nyaaya Guide on Inter-religious Marriages outlines the process involved if you wish to enter into an inter-religious or inter-faith civil marriage. Under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, two people belonging to different religions can get married without converting to another religion. This guide summarizes the legal and procedural aspects of entering into an inter-religious (special) marriage,  including giving notice of the marriage, performing the marriage, and obtaining the marriage certificate.

What are the laws being discussed in the guide?

The Nyaaya Guide on Inter-religious Marriages  explains the Special Marriage Act, 1954. This Guide only covers the general law based on the Special Marriage Act, and you might have to refer to state-specific Special Marriage rules and procedures for more detailed information suited to your situation.


Things to Remember Before Applying

Who can get married under the Special Marriage law? 

Irrespective of religion, any two people can marry under the Special Marriage Act as long as certain conditions are fulfilled. However, the Act only provides for a marriage between a man and a woman, and has not yet expanded its scope to cover same-sex couples and transgender people.

read more

Who is eligible to marry under the Special Marriage law? 

If you want to get married under this law, then at the time of the marriage you should be:

  • Single or Divorced. You should not be married to another person who is currently alive.
  • Capable of giving consent to the marriage with a sound mind.

read more

Where do you go to register an Inter-Religious (Special) Marriage?

To register a special marriage, you should go to the Marriage Officer’s office, found in every district.



Giving Notice of the Marriage

If you want to get married under the Special Marriage Act, you need to give a written notice of the marriage. The notice should be sent to the Marriage Officer of the district where you or the person you want to marry have been living. You should have been living in the district you are giving notice in for at least thirty days before notifying the Officer.

You have to submit documents for registering the marriage. While the required documents vary according to the State/Union Territory, here is a general list of documents you might require:

read more

Publication of the Notice

The Marriage Officer will keep the notice with their office records and enter a true copy in the Marriage Notice Book, which can be inspected by any person at all reasonable times, free of cost. The Officer will also publish the notice by attaching a copy of the notice in a clearly visible place in their office.

At the time of applying for marriage, if you are not  permanently residing within the district, the Marriage Officer will transfer a copy of the notice to the Marriage Officer of the district where you are permanently residing, and that Marriage Officer will attach a copy of the notice in a clearly visible place in their office.

Objecting to the Marriage

After a Marriage Officer publishes the marriage notice, any person can object to the intended marriage if it violates any of the conditions for a valid marriage under the Special Marriage Act. The  objection must be made within thirty days of the notice publication.

read more

Upholding Objection

If the Marriage Officer upholds the objection and refuses to perform the marriage, you can appeal to the concerned district court i.e., the court having judicial authority in the district where the Marriage Officer has their office. You should make the appeal within thirty days of the Officer’s refusal. The district court will take the final decision on the appeal, and the Officer will obey the decision of the court.

read more

Performing the Marriage

Before the marriage is performed, you, the person you are marrying, as well as three witnesses, should sign a declaration in front of the Marriage Officer. The Officer will also sign the declaration.

You can perform the  marriage at the office of the Marriage Officer. You can also choose to get married at any other place within a reasonable distance from the office. However, for this, you have to pay additional fees.

read more

The Marriage Certificate

After the marriage has been conducted, the Marriage Officer will enter a certificate in the Marriage Certificate Book.

You, the person you are marrying as well as  three witnesses must sign the marriage certificate. After the Officer enters the  certificate in the Book, this certificate becomes conclusive evidence of the marriage.

The marriage certificate is legal proof of a marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. It confirms that the marriage is valid and has been completed with all formalities under the law.


Medico-Legal Guide for Survivors of Sexual Assault

How can the guide help you?

The Nyaaya Guide on Medico Legal Examination for Sexual Assault helps survivors by providing a summary of the process along with some things to be kept in mind if a person is sexually assaulted. The guide helps in understanding the procedure of the forensic medical exams that survivors go through to preserve possible evidence, including DNA, and to get important medical attention. It gives an overview of the survivor’s rights and dispels various myths. While dealing with sexual assault, health workers play a dual role – one, providing medical treatment and psychological support and two, collecting evidence and ensuring good quality documentation of evidence. In 2014, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare put out guidelines and protocols for medico-legal care for survivors of sexual violence.

What are the laws being discussed in the guide?

The guide discusses the legal aspects of the medico legal guidelines by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2014. The guidelines are based on various requirements outlined in the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013, the Indian Penal Code,1860 the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO), 2012 and the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973.

To read more information on the medical process, download the guide at the link above.


Rights of a Survivor and Duties of their Caregivers



Contact Information 

Women’s Helpline – 1091 

Women’s helpline gives 24/7 immediate and emergency response to women affected by the violence, both in private and public spaces. They give assistance to file complaints. They can guide the survivor towards a hospital for a medical examination etc.

Police – 100

Police will arrive in case of an emergency.

Sources of Information


  1. Towards victim friendly responses and procedures – Partners for Law and Development, Department of Justice (Ministry of Law and Justice) and United Nations Development Program accessed at <>
  2. National Commission of Women – Rape accessed at <>
  3. Guidelines and Protocols, Medico-Legal Care for survivors/victims of Sexual Violence, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (2014) accessed at <>


  1. The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013
  2. Section 357C of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
  3. Section 166B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860
  4. Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO), 2012

Sample Forms

  1. Form to be filled by medical personnel conducting an examination: