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JNU Internal committee finds sexual harassment charges against professor ‘frivolous’, bars accusing student from university

Internal Complaints Committee called her complaint “frivolous” and recommended a series of punitive measures against her.

A student of Jawaharlal Nehru University who had filed a complaint of sexual harassment against her professor in April this year has been barred from JNU campus by the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of JNU, as reported by Indian Express.

The student had alleged in her complaint that her professor had molested, sexually harassed and threatened her. The Internal Complaints Committee called the complaint of the student “frivolous” and recommended certain punitive measures against her.

According to the recommendations made by the ICC on Nov 5, the complainant should be completely barred from entering in the JNU campus and should not be allowed to take part in any academic and non-academic proceedings. She is also barred from taking up any course or employment in the JNU in future.  The recommendations further require the complainant to apologise to the University and the defendant. “The JNU administration…shall not issue any character certificate and no objection certificate to the complainant in future…” the recommendation said.

If the complainant needs to come to the campus for the purpose of inquiry, the ICC recommendations say that she has to give prior Intimation to the Proctor Office. And she will be escorted by two female security guards.

“The Academic Council may initiate proceedings to withdraw the degree of the complainant” and that her “degree shall be put on hold till the Academic Council concludes its proceedings”, the ICC said.

The complainant has accused the ICC of being hostile. “The ICC was hostile to me from the beginning and had told me not to travel abroad. I’ve submitted my PhD but I’m yet to receive my degree because of which I haven’t been able to apply for a post-doctoral fellowship or a teaching job. The way they have barred me from campus and said I should be escorted by guards, I feel like I’m the criminal,” she said.

While the rules governing the ICC empower it to take action against false, malicious or untrue allegations or in case any forged information is provided during the inquiry, the malicious intent on the part of the complainant shall be established by inquiry.

The JNU Vice-Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar is yet to take a decision on the ICC recommendations.

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