JNUSU condemns ‘regressive verdict’ by internal committee against student who accused professor of sexual harassment

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) condemned the 'regressive verdict' of the varsity's internal complaints committee, which has recommended a series of punitive actions against a student who had accused a professor of sexual harassment early this year.

Press Trust of India December 14, 2018 08:26:47 IST
JNUSU condemns ‘regressive verdict’ by internal committee against student who accused professor of sexual harassment

New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) condemned the "regressive verdict" of the varsity's internal complaints committee, which has recommended a series of punitive actions against a student who had accused a professor of sexual harassment early this year.

The committee, in a report finalised last month, had recommended that the student should not be allowed to enter the JNU campus or be employed at the university. The woman had alleged her PhD guide had molested and threatened her. She had approached the committee in April.

JNUSU condemns regressive verdict by internal committee against student who accused professor of sexual harassment

File image of the JNU campus. Official website

The committee had said in its report that she had filed a "false" complaint and has recommended punitive actions against her, sources said. The JNU vice-chancellor will take a final call on the report. Meanwhile, the JNUSU said the internal complaints committee, since its inception, had been functioning as nothing but a 'khap panchayat' giving extremely "regressive verdicts".

The committee report also recommended that whenever the student comes to the varsity, she should be accompanied by two security women personnel, the JNUSU said. "This move is extremely atrocious and undoing the long struggles of gender justice on this campus," the JNUSU said.

In its executive council meeting held in September last year, the varsity had decided to dismantle the GSCASH (Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment), which was replaced by the internal complaints committee.

"From the functioning of ICC in the last couple of months, it is clear that the body fails at maintaining even the basic principle of confidentiality as there were several instances of deliberate information leakage. In ICC, inquiries follow no due procedures," the JNUSU said. Decisions are made according to the whims and fancies of the V-C and ICC chairperson Vibha Tandon.

"ICC has till date not done anything else other than sheer intimidation of the complainants, which was blatantly exposed when sexual harassment cases against Atul Johri came into light," the JNUSU said. The latest case only exposes ICC further, the JNUSU said, adding Tandon should resign from the post of ICC chairperson immediately.

The JNUSU said they had gone to meet the vice-chancellor on Thursday and waited for an hour, but the security personnel did not allow them to meet him or any other administration officials. They have submitted a letter seeking an appointment with him and demanded the reinstatement of GSCASH and removal of ICC.

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