Three and a half years after the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) -- a body of women workers in Malayalam cinema -- moved the court for an Internal Committee (IC) in the film actors' organisation AMMA, the latter has announced in a circular of forming one. The circular, dated March 10, says that an Internal Complaints Committee, brought into the constitution of the association, has been formed. Actor Shwetha Menon will be the presiding officer while actors Rachana Narayanankutty, Kukku Parameswaran and Maala Parvathi will be the other members. A lawyer will also be appointed in the next meeting on March 19, the circular says.
The WCC filed filed two writ petitions in the Kerala High Court in October 2018, which are now being heard as one. The petitions urge the Malayalam film industry as well as the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) and Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) to form an IC, in line with the Vishaka Guidelines and the PoSH Act -- Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. Actors Padmapriya and Rima Kallingal are the petitioners. The producers, government of Kerala, and FEFKA are responders.
Earlier this year, the Kerala Women's Commission impleaded in the case, saying that it wants to be added as a respondent. In a petition at the High Court, the Commission said that the state government must ensure that AMMA sets up an IC in line with the Vishaka guidelines and the PoSH Act.
The Commission also referred to the Justice Hema Committee report, which was formed in the aftermath of the actor assault in Kerala in 2017. The Committee was to look into the issues faced by women in the Malayalam film industry. However, two years after the Committee submitted its report in 2019, no action had been taken by the state government. It was only after media reports pointed this out that a three member panel was formed by the government to look into the implementation of the recommendations made by the Committee.