On May 19, OpIndia reported about the 13-year long battle of an ex-lecturer of Loyola College, Chennai, against her sexual predators who are being protected by the College administration. Taking cognisance of the report, the National Commission for Women (NCW), India has written to the Chairman Provincial, Loyola College to look into the matter and to ensure due compliance with the orders of the Madras High Court.
@NCWIndia has taken cognizance of the matter.Chairperson @sharmarekha has written to Chairman Provincial, Loyola College to look into the matter & to ensure due compliance with the orders of the Madras High Court. NCW is also to be informed about the action taken at the earliest. https://t.co/wqTFwzuIet pic.twitter.com/K8mGr0urUS— NCW (@NCWIndia) June 22, 2021
NCW has asked the college to inform them about the action taken in the matter at the earliest.
NCW chairman Rekha Sharma writes to Rev. Dr Jabemalai Irudayaraja, SJ, the Chairman Provincial, Loyola College
Highlighting the case, the statutory body, NCW wrote to Loyola College, Chennai that it is flustered at the ignorance and the violation of rights of a woman to live her life with dignity and it is also a contempt of court to not comply with the orders passed in favour of Josephine. Saying so it urged Rev. Dr Jabemalai Irudayaraja, SJ, the Chairman Provincial, Loyola College to ensure that the long-stalled justice to Ms Josephine is meted out at the earliest.
On May 19, OpIndia reported the case of Josephine Jeyashanthi, a former lecturer in the college’s Tamil Department who was unjustly relieved of her duties, that too without being given the dues she was entitled to receive, only because she stood up against the sexual harassment she was subjected to by her superiors and fought against a powerful system hell-bent on shielding a group of sexual predators on campus.
Its been 13 years since Josephine has been fighting with the mighty administration of the ‘prestigious’ Loyola College, Chennai. Despite the Madras High Court passing a judgement in her favour in 2019, the college did nothing to punish her sexual predators nor has it bothered to pay Josephine her back wages running in lakhs or follow the HC order to get her mandamus for compensation of Rs 59 lakhs.
The list of offences committed by Loyola College in Josephine Jeyashanthi’s case
- Rajarajan began harassing Josephine Jeyashanthi in 2008 when he joined as HOD in the college’s Tamil Department and continued until Josephine was arbitrarily fired.
- The internal complaints body only took cognisance of Josephine’s accusation in December 2012. (The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redress) Act 2013 states that an investigation into the complaint must be completed within 90 days).
- The Vishaka Guideline mandates that the grievance be addressed in a time-bound manner. However, it took 8 months to ‘censure’ the accused. Also, it took the college 6 years to submit the report to the court.
- The then Secretary Rev Fr M. Albert Williams SJ and the then Principal Rev Fr G Joseph Antonysamy SJ lied to the police.
- Most importantly, the prime accused Antony Rajarajan was not only protected by the Loyola College management but was also given privileges like superannuation with salary, while the victim was further victimised and terminated from the job without any sort of explanation and without even settling payments.
I want to see these criminals behind bars”: Josephine Jeyashanthi
“The College Management claims that they followed ‘due process’. What is due process? Is keeping the victim of sexual harassment in dark about the whole proceedings due process? Is keeping the victim unaware of the punishment given to the offender due process? Is not giving any assurance of protection to the victim from such an offender due process?, said Josephine, adding that the accused, Rajarajan, who committed the heinous crime was not only protected by the management but also projected as flawless in the society, while she, who was victimised all throughout, was projected as the bigger offender.
“This resulted in the loss of career opportunities for me over these years. Even after terminating me, the management made deliberate attempts to malign my name among staff and the student community”, lamented Josephine, adding: “I want to see these criminals behind bars, I will drag them to court. They’ve been exploiting ladies like me for years. Many victims before me, and even after me, lacked the confidence to stand up to the big fishes. So many such cases are lying pending in the Madras High Court. Someone has to show these criminals their place”