JNU Decides To Replace Sexual Harassment Panel, Faces Flak

The decision was taken at the 269th Executive Council meeting. It comes six days after the registrar sent circulars to the unions of students and teachers, and non-teaching staff about the initiative.

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JNU Decides To Replace Sexual Harassment Panel, Faces Flak

JNU Teachers Association president Ayesha Kidwai condemned the decision

New Delhi:  The JNU administration today decided to replace the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) with an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), drawing protests from students and teachers.

The decision was taken at the 269th Executive Council meeting. It comes six days after the registrar sent circulars to the unions of students and teachers, and non-teaching staff about the initiative.

"Based on the recommendations of the (SC) Garkoti Committee, the 269th executive council meeting adopted the UGC regulations 2015, and approved the formation of ICC with immediate effect. The ICC will henceforth replace GSCASH," an order by the administration read.

The administration also approved the nomination of six members, making JNU chief proctor Vibha Tandon its chairperson, apart from announcing to conduct elections to elect three student representatives soon.

The decision has drawn protests as the UGC regulations have no mention of ICC having elected teacher representatives and other non-teaching staff, but only those nominated by the administration, whereas GSCASH had these members elected.

JNUSU president Geeta Kumari said the administration in a shocking move has disbanded the GSCASH and imposed the ICC.

"The VC has also sent staff to seal files and office of GSCASH. This is utter dictatorialism on the part of VC and his team, trampling upon all norms, and endangering justice in critical cases of gender violations," Ms Kumari said.

JNU Teachers Association president Ayesha Kidwai too condemned the decision and said the association was outraged by the alacrity shown in implementing this decision.

"GSCASH always has many inquiries ongoing - what will happen to these cases? Are the inquiry committees in these cases to be changed overnight? Can complainants ever hope for justice or redressal?" Ms Kidwai said in a statement.

The administration also nominated a representative from Sampurna, an NGO run by BJP leader Vijender Gupta's wife, against which the then chief minister Sheila Dikshit had levelled allegations of irregularities in 2012.

When contacted by news agency PTI, the GSCASH Students Election Committee, which had announced the poll schedule for GSCASH, said they did not have any clarification regarding the move until they receive an official confirmation.

The poll committee chairperson, Bhagat Singh Saini, however, released a list of final candidates for the polls.

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