Malayalam News

Draft Law Addressing Sexual Harassment in Malayalam Film Industry to be Ready Within a Month: Saji Cherian

A draft law to address concerns of sexual harassment in the Malayalam film industry will be ready within a month, Kerala Minister for Culture Saji Cherian told The Hindu


After attending the inaugural event of the Regional International Film Festival of Kerala in Kochi on Friday, the minister confirmed to the publication that the department of culture will finish drafting the law in a month. He said that the draft would then be presented before the law department for assessment. 

Cherian further added that the draft would be taken up for discussion by the cabinet before tabling in the assembly for approval. “The government will also hold discussions with the various film bodies and the Women in Cinema Collective before finalising the draft,” he said.

He also stated that the draft law would be published in the public domain after completing the due legal procedure.

It may be noted that on March 17, Kerala High Court ordered film production houses in the Malayalam industry to form Internal Complaints Committees (ICC) as per the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) PoSH Act, 2013. The court observed that every film unit is an establishment and that production houses have the responsibility to form an ICC. 

Following that, Cherian had announced that the government would draw up legislation based on the recommendations in the reports of Adoor Gopalakrishnan and the Hema committee, to ensure the protection of women in the Malayalam film industry. The minister had also mentioned then that a meeting would be held with all stakeholders in the industry, including the WCC, and their suggestions would be used in preparing the draft legislation. 


Headed by retired judge Hema, a commission was formed on July 1, 2017, by Kerala’s Department of Cultural Affairs in the aftermath of the Malayalam female actor abduction and sexual assault incident, to study gender disparity, sexual harassment, and other such issues faced by women in the Malayalam film industry. Many women testified before the commission and described their traumatic experiences. A report was subsequently submitted to the government on December 31, 2019.