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Women Who Accused Gautam Buddha University Staff Of Sexual Harassment Move High Court

vibhu agrawal, workplace sexism, Gautam Buddha University

A former head of the department and a research scholar at Gautam Buddha University (GBU) have moved the Allahabad High Court on allegations of sexual and mental harassment against two senior faculty members. While one complainant is a former head of department, another is a researcher.

The former HOD has sought an order to repeal the departmental proceedings against her that had been issued by varsity management. On the other hand, the research scholar has appealed that her thesis is cleared at the earliest. The two women have also sought reconstitution of the Internal Complaints Committee that the varsity had formed just days after one of them levelled the allegations, reported the Times of India.

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Registrar accused of sexual misconduct second time

The former HOD has accused registrar SN Tiwari of sexual harassment, who has been accused of similar misconduct by a suspended official of GBU two weeks ago. The allegations by the suspended official came days after the HOD had accused the registrar of harassment. She had said that Tiwari would pass indecent comments against her and rub his shoulders against her. He even accessed her personal computer after taking the password from one of the subordinates.

Earlier this month, the HOD had accused the registrar of harassment repeatedly. She said that he would pass comments on her appearance and asked for keys to her house. He even called her repeatedly to his office as she needed leave. Moreover, he threatened her to take back her complaint on phone. Similar allegations have been levelled by the PhD student against Pradeep Tomar, the HOD of information and communication technology.

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Both the survivors have filed a writ petition dated September 19. The first complaint alleged that the university had “unilaterally reconstituted the ICC (internal complaints committee) even before the expiry of the three-year-term of the earlier committee”. Furthermore, it is also mentioned that one of the complaint was being victimised after making the allegations. Ajit Sharma, the lawyer representing the women in court said that it is the duty of the ICC to see to it that the complaint isn’t victimised further, in accordance with the Centre’s guidelines on sexual harassment at the workplace. He also added that the salary of one of the petitioners has been withheld without any order. “This is a clear violation of the rules,” he said.

Harrassment cases in the last four years

As many as four complaints of sexual harassment have been registered against faculty members of GBU. An MPhil student moved the Supreme Court in 2017 seeking a directive to arrest a senior professor for allegedly sexually harassing her on the college premises. In in the same year, an assistant professor accused a former dean who was threatening her to take back her complaint, of mental harassment. A first-year student had also accused a professor in the year 2016 of seeking sexual favours.

Shikha Chandra is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.