JNU faculty lash out at ICC against penalising student over sexual harassment case

NEW DELHI: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) faculty finds the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) handling of sexual harassment case against the complainant, a doctoral student outrageous, unlawful and has also come in support of the student.

According to reports published by The Indian Express, JNU’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) had previously found student’s complaint against her PhD guide frivolous and recommended a set of extreme actions — including debarring her from campus, recommending withdrawal of her degree.

The student on April 12 this year filed a complaint against her teacher, alleging she was “molested, sexually harassed and threatened.”

The statement that is signed by 39 JNU teachers reads: “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.”

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“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.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 faculty members said in a statement.

“To destroy a woman student’s career by simply declaring her to be a liar without following the first principle of feminist due process is totally unacceptable.

The adoption of such draconian punishments to women students is clearly meant to serve as a deterrent to all women against filing sexual harassment complaints in future,” they added. “Many students have reported that they are feeling intimidated by the manner in which enquiries are conducted. Many have withdrawn their cases from ICC…”

Read the full statement here: