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Clarified: NLSIU sex harass committee took suo motu action over ‘oranges’, asks to remove FB post • Matter now with admin til March


Action is awaited from NLSIU Bangalore's administration on the complaint of its internal sexual harassment probe body (SHIC) against the image shared on WhatsApp that allegedly mocked one of its earlier case investigations, as we had yesterday reported.

Contrary to an earlier report in the Bangalore Mirror and by us implying that formal investigations were ongoing, a full inquiry by the SHIC has not yet been initiated.

There had been two sexual harassment complaints at the law school in December 2016. After over one year of probes, the SHIC convicted and rusticated the perpetrator in one complaint, which we had reported last year, but cleared charges against the two alleged perpetrators in the second complaint.

But a picture of oranges, allegedly offensively referencing the second complaint, circulated on WhatsApp where it was allegedly defended by a former accused.

This has now caused the SHIC to act on its own without a formal complaint.

The faculty member heading up the SHIC, Prof Yashumati Ghosh, told us today that it was an indication of the “lacking gender sensitivity in a certain section of male students” on the NLSIU campus, that they had allegedly shared and defended a picture mocking an incident that had kicked off sexual harassment investigations in the first place.

Ghosh said that with a view to ensuring greater gender sensitivity on campus and a safer environment the SHIC had of its own accord reported the circulated picture to the NLSIU administration, despite there having been no formal complaint made to the body by anyone.

She said that a decision from the administration on the SHIC's report was not likely before March 2018 as the law school was busy with exams until tomorrow, after which the students have a short vacation.

The Facebook post

The SHIC had also ordered the female student who had posted about the picture on Facebook, slamming the alleged perpetrators, to remove her post.

The student had named the alleged perpetrators in her post which called them out on their “brazen shamelessness”.

Ghosh told us that through that post the student had violated not just NLSIU's sexual harassment law but also “the general law of the country” by naming individuals in reference to charges they had been cleared of.

Ghosh also clarified today that its recommendations to the vice chancellor about the WhatsApp incident do not in any way re-open the original investigation from December 2016, which has already been closed on 17 January 2018, and that the picture of the alleged perpetrator had been shared by a different student who had not been named as a perpetrator in the dismissed December 2016 complaint.

She said that any fresh evidence against either of the cleared perpetrators in the December 2016 incident or against any other individuals would have to be filed under a freshly registered complaint.

Ghosh said that the SHIC cleared the alleged perpetrators in the December 2016 case of charges as despite the accused having allegedly confessed when confronted by a few students, they later withdrew that purported confession, which did not amount to admissible evidence under a formal investigation by the SHIC.

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Like +2 Object -0 Darkseid 01 Feb 18, 19:46
Which "general law of the country" does not allow an alleged offender to be named in connection to the charges he has been cleared of? So long as it is not misrepresented that he's been convicted of the charges, that is?
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Like +3 Object -2 Guest 02 Feb 18, 01:12
NLSIU is filled with thugs these days.
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Like +4 Object -1 Sad situation 02 Feb 18, 07:59
These men will in another 10 years occupy top positions in companies through their contacts, the same contacts which has given them assurance that nothing will happen to them no matter howmuchever filthy they behave.
The honest hard working girls will not be on top positions in companies or practise because the harassment has already cracked their moral and confidence. Such incidents leave girls scarred for life. Also because guts, honesty and straightforwardness are not appreciated at work places.
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Like +4 Object -1 Ad Law 02 Feb 18, 09:39
This is evidence of the falling standards in the faculty. For an administrative law professor to say there is a general law that you can’t name defendants in closed proceedings is shocking. I’d like to see them take action against the female student

Also, the SHIC order from January said the case would be reopened if there was further evidence, didn’t it? Why the would there need to be a further complaint?
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 02 Feb 18, 10:42
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Like +2 Object -1 Understanding law 02 Feb 18, 13:51
Just trying to understanding the process - Is celebrating a closed investigation illegal if the perpetrator is acquitted? If the committee did not think it was not harassment if someone sent oranges to a lady how can it take offence to this where a third person has taken a pic of the acquitted perpetrator and distributed to a closed group. Is this reactive or an ego issue by the committee. Is the acquitted person banned for talking, using or eating oranges. In my view an appeal should be filed by the victim against the committee's order and considering the the ability of the committee the same should be referred to the Local Complaints Committee considering this committee has taken this pic to its ego instead of pondering over the order they passed acquitting the perpetrators. I dont see any ground whatsoever to convict the guy in the picture. I dont think naming and shaming is correct. If at all anything the guys involved should undergo gender sensitivity training, give public/private apology. Otherwise they will keep a grudge for life and a hate for women in general. These are young minds whose paths can be corrected and should not be labelled as evil for rest of their lives.
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Like +1 Object -0 Hear this 02 Feb 18, 17:27
What I see wrong in the picture is that "only two oranges carried in hand" appear to mark as a trophy or some kind of souvenir. The whole thing about the picture is "two oranges". It was like replaying the past scene photo. Thats what is prima facie. It doesnt appear as a nice photo. I am not amused.
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Like +3 Object -1 Darkseid 02 Feb 18, 20:27
Quite true about the need for change and counseling. But do remember this: the victims, often on the wrong side of the power equation, usually go for naming and shaming only when the system fails them. I am fairly certain that had the institutional PSH mechanism been a strong enough one to convince the victims that they would get justice, there would be little or no talk of naming and shaming.
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Like +0 Object -1 Hi Darkseid 02 Feb 18, 21:48
Hi Darkseid I like your comments. Very sensitive and humane.
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