Published: 15th December 2018
JNU faculty finds ICC's handling of sexual harassment case outrageous, unlawful
The statement was signed by 39 JNU professors, including a few members of the JNUTA. The ICC had previously called the complaint frivolous
After a media report revealed the Jawaharlal Nehru University's Internal Complaints Committee's recommendation for a set of extreme actions to be taken against a student who alleged sexual harassment by a professor, it was met by a lot of backlash by the students. Now, the faculty has also come in support of the student.
"We, the undersigned faculty at the Jawaharlal Nehru University express our shock and outrage at the extreme penalties recommended against a doctoral student for bringing a sexual harassment complaint against her teacher," reads the statement that is signed by 39 JNU teachers. The faculty who found the penalties imposed by the ICC extremely troubling also alleged a few recommendations are 'unlawful'.
The ICC had previously found the student's complaint frivolous previously and had recommended that the student must be debarred, her degree must be withheld and that she can never study or be given employment in JNU in future. She was also banned from entering the university's premises and travelling abroad.
"Never have such stringent penalties to our recollection, been imposed in JNU against any perpetrator found guilty of sexual harassment in JNU, let alone against complainants. These outrageous recommendations are disproportionate to any findings of the ICC of a complaint being without merit. Such a finding does not legitimise the withdrawal of a degree, travel ban, or out of bounds order for the complainant. They are also contrary to the law. When an ICC finds a complaint to be manifestly false then it is required by law to establish malicious intent and this too requires the adoption of a fair procedure to the complainant," the statement added.
The faculty also expressed their protest on the university dismantling Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) and replacing it with the ICC.