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Delhi HC defers JNU panel’s proceedings in harassment complaint against 2 educators

The plea, by a former student, said that the members of the committee inquiring into the complaint are persons and officials who have been appointed by one of the two top educators against whom the complaint has been made, thus rendering the committee inherently biased.

delhi Updated: Aug 03, 2018 15:28 IST
Richa Banka
Richa Banka
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi,JNU,Delhi HC
File photo of the administrative block of JNU. (HT File Photo )

The Delhi High court has deferred the proceedings of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of JNU on a plea by a former student who had filed a complaint of sexual harassment and molestation against two top educators of the varsity.

Justice Vibhu Bhakru also sought to know the stand of the University on the plea of the student who had raised questions on the constitution of the committee, alleging that it is biased as its members have been appointed by one of the accused.

The court said that the proceedings, which were scheduled before the ICC on July 31, were deferred till further orders and fixed the next date of hearing to August 9.

HT is not revealing the name of the accused as the matter is still under inquiry by the ICC.

The plea said that the members of the committee inquiring into the complaint are persons and officials who have been appointed by one of the two top educators against whom the complaint has been made, thus rendering the committee inherently biased.

She sought the reconstitution of the entire ICC and the inquiry committee for looking into her sexual harassment complaint.

According to the plea, on February 28, 2017, the two educators and a manager of the varsity had allegedly sexually harassed the girl while they were addressing students on their grievances on certain issues. Following this, the petitioner filed a complaint against the trio at the Gender Sensitization Committee of Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) of JNU.

HT tried to contact the top educators and another person named in the complaint, but they did not respond to calls and texts.

Proceedings at the GSCASH started on March 6, 2017, where the petitioner gave her side of the incident and it was videographed. However, on July 20, 2017, the petitioner found out that her registration for the new semester was blocked on the directions of the then chief proctor.

The petition also alleged that the then chief proctor also openly discussed the sexual harassment complaint in front of other students and office staff, violating the restraint order, intimidating and threatening the complainant.

After several events, including the imposition of fine on the petitioner, JNU finally informed the petitioner on July 20 this year that the she will have to appear before the ICC headed by the then chief proctor who was one of the witnesses in the case.

Subsequent to this, the petitioner wrote about her inability to attend the proceedings. However, the proceedings were finally fixed on July 31 and aggrieved by this, the complainant moved to the court.

First Published: Aug 03, 2018 15:27 IST