In a curious case, the Jawaharlal Nehru University has loosened its purse strings for teachers accused of harassing a student.
The university has paid more than Rs 3.5 lakh towards the legal fee of two teachers, who were charged with harassing a student under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The case, filed in 2011, made the JNU administration respondents in the case along with two teachers. The teachers, however, were charged as individual respondents not as university professors.
Despite the matter being currently sub-judice, an RTI reply has shown that the university hired an external lawyer to aid the teachers.
The student, who alleged harassment, also filed an RTI in December, to find out whether there is a provision in the JNU rule book whereby the university can justify hiring lawyers on the teachers' behalf.
In their first reply to the RTI, the university administration sent documents regarding the case but did not answer the question at all.
When the student wrote to them again, the university allegedly, over the phone, asked her to meet the registrar. After the student refused, the university sent her a letter asking for some more time to answer the question. No reply has been provided so far. JNU authorities have refused to answer a similar question posed by Hindustan Times.
"Keeping in view the circumstance that the University did not have a criminal lawyer on its panel, the only option at that moment was to engage a lawyer from outside," JNU authorities said.