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NLSIU re-opens sex harass probe against 2 students as whistle blown on perpetrators who appeared to celebrate acquittal

Context is everything (photo via Facebook)Context is everything (photo via Facebook)

NLSIU Bangalore has re-opened sexual harassment investigations barely 10 days after it closed a December 2016 investigation, following a photo allegedly mocking the incident that had kicked off the original inestigation was shared on a WhatsApp group of male students of the law school, reported The Bangalore Mirror.

The Sexual Harassment Investigation Committee (SHIC) had cleared charges against two students accused of sexual harassment on 17 January 2018, on the ground that there was not sufficient evidence against them.

On 26 January, one NLSIU student shared a photo picturing one of the two accused students carrying two oranges, in an apparent reference to the harassment charges that they just been cleared of.

According to a Facebook post by a student on 24 January:

In December 24, 2016, two NLSIU students, then in their second-year, had anonymously sent a parcel with two oranges and a note to a female batch mate. The note read: “You know what I mean!!! Use it, feel it #FeelBig #BigDreamDiaries from- BigPlanet.Com.”

According to a Facebook post by a student on 24 January, the parcel sent with oranges to the female student was “making a clear reference to her breasts” and that “when confronted by her and a couple of her friends, they confessed to having done it, but insisted that it was only a prank”.

After the picture with the oranges was shared on the private WhatsApp group - which apparently consisted only of boys - the other accused allegedly sent messages aggressively defending the photo against reactions by other group members’, who had called out the photo as offensive, according to screenshots of conversations posted on Facebook.

One of the WhatsApp group members asked the group, according to those screenshots, how those messages had even “reach[ed] to girls”, with another member of the group replying: “I don't see why that is a problem. If you're saying stupid shit, people will call you out for it... It's shameful that you guys don't learn.

"The point isn't that it reached women, the point is that what you did and said was wrong.”

According to the Facebook post, the 17 January order had the proviso that the SHIC would re-open investigation against the two accused students if any additional evidence against them surfaced.

However, NLSIU faculty member Yahsomathi Ghosh told the Mirror that “the incident that happened on the WhatsApp group is different for what happened on the Christmas Eve and it was a difficult case”.

“NLSIU is very cognizant of this issue and we have absolutely taken care of it. An elaborate report is given to the Vice-Chancellor and the registrar regarding the WhatsApp picture. Sensitivity and gender issues are carefully handled at NLSIU,” Ghosh told the Mirror.

The SHIC has taken cognizance of the WhatsApp group incident and submitted “an elaborate report” to the vice chancellor Venkat Rao, who confirmed investigation had been re-started, and the registrar.

One NLSIU student commented through a Facebook post that the “brazen display of shamelessness” in sharing the picture of the perpetrator holding oranges and then being aggressively defended demonstrates that “not only are they unashamed of their actions, but consider it something to be proud of and celebrated. The impunity with which sexual harassers roam on campus is unacceptable and reflective of a culture where violence against women is tolerated”.

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By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.
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Like +6 Object -5 NLU Stud 31 Jan 18, 22:16  controversial
Harvard of the East eh?
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Like +9 Object -2 Guest 01 Feb 18, 19:01  interesting
It is high time we clarify a few facts (and this is also a message to Kian Ganz):

1. "Harvard of the East" is a term first used by Bill Clinton used to describe Peking (Beijing) University in 1998.

2. Today, Peking university is ranked in the top 20 in the world.

3. The BBC has used the term "Harvard of the East" to describe Peking's rival, Tsinghua University, which is also highly ranked in world rankings.

4. Meanwhile, Hong Kong University, also ranked highly in world rankings, has been described as the "Harvard of the East" by the media in Hong Kong:

5. Many have similarly described NUS Singapore as the "Harvard of the East", as it features highly in world rankings.

6. Many years ago, India Today used this term to describe NLSIU in its first Indian law school rankings, where NLSIU was ranked 1. Since then, an impression has been created that NLSIU is universally regarded as the "Harvard of the East", solely on the basis of one comment by an India Today reporter.

7. Kian Ganz and Legally India have perpetuated this belief by hyping NLSIU.

8. NLSIU does not feature even in the rankings of the world's top 200 law schools:

These rankings look into faculty publications, infrastructure, foreign students etc, where NLSIU fares poorly

Thus, please stop referring to NLSIU as the "Harvard of the East".
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Like +3 Object -0 kianganz 01 Feb 18, 19:02
Lol, when have we ever said Harvard of the East, except in jest? :)
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Like +2 Object -0 Guest 02 Feb 18, 10:41
Sorry Kian, you have always tried to hype NLSIU and disregarded achievements by other NLUs. This influences thousands of parents and law aspirants who read your website. Why have you never highlighted , for example, that NLUD has better faculty, or that NALSAR has better placements and infrastructure? There is a feeling that you are very close to NLSIU alumni and so you do not wish to upset them. I am not saying that you claim that Jodhpur or Bhopal is better, but let us do an objective comparison with NLUD and NALSAR and see if NLSIU deserves to be #1 in CLAT preference.
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Like +5 Object -0 kianganz 02 Feb 18, 11:04  interesting
Lol. Yes, I admit, I personally think NLSIU is special because it was the first, after all, and now has more partners and senior lawyers in the profession than any other NLU and is therefore more influential. But, by that token, GLC and DU are even more special, and Nalsar, NUJS, and so on are all also becoming more special.


1) I don't really give a single crap whether someone is from NLS, Nalsar, GLC or Bangalore University. I really don't have a horse in that race, or any loyalties to defend.

2) I don't really give a crap about offending NLS grads about their college, whether they are friends or not, and to prove it, I'll say it here once and for all, so I don't get accused of bias or wanting to kiss ass of NLS grads: NLSIU sucks.

3) Within 5-10 years of graduation, I don't think that a single law school alum would in any case get offended by a negative story about their college or feel fondly towards someone else who praises their college.

4) In my experience, NLS grads will be the first to admit that NLS has a lot of problems, and they would be the first to want to solve them and see them written about.

We've said it before and will say it again- there's not much difference between the top NLUs, though all things being equal, everyone still happily chooses and recommends NLS first. Unless coaching institutes all agree to change their recommendation together, very few parents will take the first step of letting their kid choose Nalsar rather than NLS as a first choice.
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Like +0 Object -2 Guest 04 Feb 18, 11:00
So can you then please make a new year's resolution of making an all-round fair comparison of NSLIU v NLUD v NALSAR v NUJS for this year's CLAT aspirants? This can be circulated to all coaching centres. If necessary you can partner with a respected media house and do a proper ranking, in a transparent manner and with respected jury members whose names will be revealed after the ranking (unlike India Today).

The comparison will look at:

1) Placements and average salaries, foreign firm hires: 30% weightage
2) How many LLM acceptances at good universities abroad, how many got top scholarships: 10% weightage
3) Moots: 5%
4) Quality of faculty: 20 %
5) Infrastructure: 15%
6) Campus location: 5%
7) Safety for women outside campus: 5%
8) Quality of admin, absence of dictatorship: 5%
9) Social life inside campus: 5%

I am convinced that NLSIU will NOT be #1 in a fair ranking contest.
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Like +6 Object -0 Mukta Joshi 31 Jan 18, 22:41  interesting
The probe has not been re-opened. Please change the misleading headline immediately.
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Like +0 Object -0 Darkseid 01 Feb 18, 11:34
If the two students did send that note earlier and had confessed to having done so, why exactly were they let off in the first instant? I don't see even any reasonable doubt in this case! If things like this continues, it has a huge demoralising effect on both victims as well as other students. I hope the victim in this case is holding up well. Despite a group of well-aware students trying to engage in progressive gender related activities, the overall atmosphere in even the top tier law schools has degraded a lot over the last few years, with students not feeling safe even from their own batchmates, which is sad on so many levels!
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 02 Feb 18, 00:46
They confessed, however, later it turned out said confession was the only proof against them. Therefore they redacted it. In absence of any other evidence, SHIC could not convict.
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Like +0 Object -0 ZRS 02 Feb 18, 01:19
Er ... you mean 'retracted'?
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Like +0 Object -0 Darkseid 02 Feb 18, 20:33
That sounds fairly tragic, since I refuse to believe that the entire process ought to be revolve around whether the alleged perpetrator confesses or not. It is really not impossible to track any parcel sent to a girl by (presumably) a boy in a law school (which are fractions of size compared to bigger universities). Only goes to show the lack of resolve on the part of the SHIC or whatever the body is called.
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Like +0 Object -0 What happened 01 Feb 18, 12:02
Kian what happened to your article on sexual harassment which you said you are going to write. It will be great to see you standing up for the victims.
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Like +0 Object -2 kianganz 01 Feb 18, 12:13
Surprisingly, we didn't get a single response or any names named. I find it hard to believe, but maybe SH is less prevalent in law firms or many cases sort of get dealt with satisfactorily?

Hope to do some more in-depth reporting though when there's time.
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Like +2 Object -0 Ohhh 01 Feb 18, 12:56
Its not that SH is less prevalent but the victims are scared to come out in the open. They get slut shamed, called psycho, have fear of society, family honour, trust issues after being humiliated by fake POSH Committee and office crowd, depression, anxiety, already energy wasted in fighting the case, lose hope, loss of focus, years flying by and wasted in SH trauma. Will be nice to see you report.
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Like +1 Object -0 kianganz 01 Feb 18, 13:00
True, that's also quite likely... It's definitely on our list of stories...
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Like +1 Object -0 My sweater my hero 01 Feb 18, 13:33
I read the article on oranges. In office I would wear a sweater or blaser to cover myself from the eyes of my boss. Everybody used to ask me why I wear double clothes though its not cold.

Once I caught one joker zooming his eyes through my salwar. Later an older lady colleague told me that its a part of betting that those men did on what colour girls in office were wearing under their formals. It was a one off incident so I ignored. Anyways what cud I do?
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 01 Feb 18, 19:05
Please name and shame the culprits. Why the secrecy?
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Like +1 Object -2 Guest 02 Feb 18, 01:15
NLSIU has very nicely managed to cover up hundreds of scandals, while Legally India has focused on other NLUs. These scandals include:

- Criminal behaviour by students and ragging
- Unqualified teachers, much inferior to many other NLUs
- Nepotism in faculty recruitment
- Corruption
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