JNU Revises Policy On Sexual Harassment, Introduces Penalty For False Complaints

06/12/2015 1:08 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
A woman holds a placard at the Delhi "SlutWalk" in New Delhi, India, Sunday, July 31, 2011. There were no short skirts, fishnet stockings or lingerie on display that were the staple of other global "SlutWalk" marches as hundreds gathered in India's capital on Sunday to protest sexual violence against women. The event condemned the notion widely held in this traditional society that a woman's appearance can explain or excuse rape and sexual harassment. In India, public sexual taunting or even groping of women, locally known as "Eve teasing", is common. (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi)

New Delhi -- Jawaharlal Nehru University, which has the dubious distinction of receiving the maximum number of sexual harassment complaints lodged in any educational institution in Delhi in the last two years, has notified a revamped sexual harassment policy that also includes penalty provisions for false complaints.

According to a Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) report, 101 cases of sexual harassment were reported from various universities in Delhi, barring the Delhi University, since 2013. Of these, about 50 per cent were reported in JNU. The DU had not submitted the list of such cases.

JNU has Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH), a central body which deals with complaints of this nature from across the university departments.

The panel had submitted a draft of the revised rules and procedures in accordance with the 2013 guidelines of the Supreme Court to Vice Chancellor SK Sopory in September this year which has been approved by the varsity's Executive Council (EC).

One of the major amendments in the policy is introduction of a provision for protection from victimisation of the complainant as well as witnesses besides a penalty provision for false complaints.

The revamped policy also has different clauses for "Sexual Harassment at workplace" and "Sexual harassment in Academic Spheres" and for re-appealing if the complainant is dissatisfied with GSCASH's decision.

According to the notified policy, "If the committee finds that a complaint registered by a person is false, he or she will be served a show-cause notice to detail the reasons behind doing so."

"In the event of no, insufficient, or unconvincing explanation, GSCASH shall forward its findings to the appropriate university authority for further action which might include a restraint order, change in hostel or a disciplinary action," it says.

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