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  • Last updated on Thursday, February 27, 2020

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Prevention of Sexual Harassment

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Prevention of Sexual Harassment

Introduction

On 13th August 1997, the Supreme Court of India held that sexual harassment of women is a violation of the fundamental right of women to work in a safe environment. The Supreme Court has defined ‘sexual harassment’ to include:
 
  • Physical contact and advances
  • A demand or request for sexual favors
  • Sexually colored remarks
  • Showing pornography
  • Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature. 
It is important for women to protest against any behavior that they feel is unwanted and unacceptable. The Complaint Committee for Sexual Harassment has been set up with the aim of providing women an appropriate complaint mechanism against unwelcome sexually determined behavior whether directly or by implication. All staff members and students are provided equal protection through this committee. Sexual harassment of any kind is considered unacceptable behavior in any employee or student of the institute and will attract appropriate disciplinary action.

Members of the Complaints Committee

The present members of the Complaints Committee to deal with the complaints of sexual harassment in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court of India relating to sexual harassment of women workers at work places and students are as follows:
 
1 Chairperson
2 Member
3 Member
4 Member
5 Member

What should you do if you feel you are sexually harassed?

  • Do not feel ashamed and blame yourself. Tell the harasser very clearly that you find his behavior offensive.
  • Do not ignore the harassment in the hope that it will stop on its own. The harasser may misinterpret a lack of response as approval of the behavior. Come forward and complain to the Complaint Committee.
  • Do not hesitate to ask for help. Talk to somebody you trust about the harassment. It will not only give you strength but also help others in similar situations to come forward and complain.
  • Keep a record of all incidents of sexual harassment. If you feel the need to register a formal complaint later this record will be helpful.

Lodging a Complaint

Complaints can be made verbally, through email, or in a letter to any member of the Complaint Committee for Sexual Harassment to the Warden, to the Controlling officer or directly to the higher authorities of the Institute.
 
Complaints can be made directly by the person facing harassment or even by a third party.
 
The Committee guarantees anonymity of complainants and all persons involved. All complaints will be dealt with equal seriousness irrespective of the positions held by the persons involved.

What action can be taken against the offender?

The Complaints Committee is deemed to be an Inquiry Authority and the report of the Committee is deemed to be an Inquiry Report under the rules. The Committee then forwards the report to the Registrar in case of the offender is a staff or Standing Committee on Students Discipline, if offender is a student which is then forwarded to the Vice-Chancellor/Director who is required to act upon these recommendations.
 
The Committee is required to make report of each complaint received and action taken to the concerned authority.
 
After it has been proved that the offender has indulged in sexual harassment in the work place, appropriate disciplinary action would be taken against him irrespective of his status in the Institute (staff or student). Where such conduct amounts to a specific offence under the Indian penal Code or under any other law, a complaint will be made to the appropriate authority for action in accordance with the law.
 
Care shall be taken by the Committee to ensure that the victims of sexual harassment and the witnesses shall not be victimized while dealing with the complaint.

The Role of the Committee

  • To act as Inquiry Authority on a complaint of sexual harassment.
  • To ensure that victims and witnesses are not victimized or discriminated because of their complaint.
  • To take proactive measures towards sensitization of the staff and students on gender issues.

An Institution Deemed to be University estd. vide Sec.3 of the UGC Act,1956 under notification # F.12-23/63.U-2 of Jun 18,1964

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