Appropriate anti-sexual harassment laws in place at DU?

Posted By: PTI
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New Delhi, Jun 28: Even as the St Stephen's college has been rocked by an alleged incident of molestation of a research scholar by a professor, DU's Gender Studies group has claimed the university does not have proper rules in place to deal with complaints of such nature.

The Gender Studies Group (GSG) is an independent, non-funded, university-wide students group which was established in the 1990s.

Stop crime against Women

Teachers from various departments act as mentors to the group which takes up various surveys, campaigns and sensitisation programmes on gender issues.

In the wake of the molestation row, GSG has launched a campaign demanding revision of the existing anti-sexual harassment rules and regulations at Delhi University.

Last year, DU had scrapped its earlier sexual harassment policy (Ordinance XV-D) and brought in a new one in accordance with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013.

"The Internal Complaints Committees (ICC) constituted in colleges have several anomalies. Firstly, there is no representation of students in the body. It is handled by the principal and the college employees, mostly teachers."

"Secondly, the DU ordinance on sexual harassment states that if the charges are not proved against the accused, action can be taken against the victim and hence it restrains majority people from coming out in the open about the harassment faced by them," says a DU Executive Council member.

Ashley Tellis, who has taught at DU's St Stephen's, Kirori Mal and Ramjas colleges and has been raising the issue from various platforms, says, "The Ordinance XV-D had been in operation for nearly 10 years and was one of the best policies in the country. There was representation from all levels - from the karamcharis to faculty. It was gender-neutral and also came with a broad definition of harassment."


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