The Panjab University (PU) senate on Sunday approved a new policy on protection, prevention, prohibition from sexual harassment at workplace. The new policy has a provision of penalty for guilty students which may extend up to Rs 50,000. The rest of the policy will be in accordance with ‘The Sexual Harassment of Women (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013’.
As per the approved policy, in case of employees, the penalty will be as per the central legislation.
While in case of students, they can be restricted to participate in any event of the department or the university, suspension from classes for the entire course, expulsion from the university and besides this, a fine may be imposed extending to Rs 50,000 but not less than Rs 10,000. It also states that if any issue arises in giving effect to the policy, the syndicate will have the power to remove the difficulty and make changes in the policy.
In the changed policy tabled at the senate meet, Panjab University Committee Against Sexual Harassment (PUCASH) recommended compensation to be paid by the respondent to the victim keeping in view the mental/physical/psychological impact of sexual harassment on the victim.
During the meeting, Prof Rajesh Gill asked whether the policy has been changed completely to which the Dean University Instructions (DUI) replied that the policy has been changed in accordance with the central law. Professor Gill said, “If we consider the sexual harassment policies of other Universities, they have given in details all the definitions and consist of around 100 pages unlike the PU policy which is completed in five pages.”