The Principal shall notify an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) constituted by the Governing Body of the College with an inbuilt mechanism for gender sensitization against sexual harassment.
- The ICC shall have the following composition:-
A Presiding Officer who shall be a woman faculty member employed at a senior level (not below an Associate Professor) at the institution, nominated by the Principal.
Two faculty members and two non-teaching employees, preferably committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge, nominated by the Principal.
Three students, if the matter involves students, who shall be enrolled at the undergraduate level elected through transparent democratic procedure.
One member from amongst non-government organisations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment, nominated by the Principal
- At least one-half of the total members of the ICC shall be women.
Persons in senior administrative positions shall not be members of ICCs in order to ensure autonomy of their functioning.
- The term of office of the members of the ICC shall be for a period of three years.
The Member appointed form amongst the non-governmental organizations or associations shall be paid such fees or allowances for holding the proceedings of the Internal Committee, by the Principal as may be prescribed.
- Where the Presiding Officer or any member of the Internal Committee:
- contravenes the provisions of the Act; or
has been convicted for an offence or an inquiry into an offence under any law for the time being in force is pending against him; or
he has been found guilty in any disciplinary proceedings or a disciplinary proceeding is pending against him; or
has so abused his position as to render his continuance in office prejudicial to the public interest, such Presiding Officer or Member, as the case may be, shall be removed from the Committee and the vacancy so created or any casual vacancy shall be filled by fresh nomination in accordance with the existing provisions.
Responsibilities of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)
The Internal Complaints Committee shall:
provide assistance if an employee or a student chooses to file a complaint with the police;
provide mechanisms of dispute redressal and dialogue to anticipate and address issues through just and fair conciliation without undermining complainant’s rights, and minimize the need for purely punitive approaches that lead to further resentment, alienation or violence;
protect the safety of the complainant by not divulging the person’s identity, and provide the mandatory relief by way of sanctioned leave or relaxation of attendance requirement or transfer to another department or supervisor as required during the pendency of the complaint, or also provide for the transfer of the offender;
ensure that victims or witnesses are not victimised or discriminated against while dealing with complaints of sexual harassment; and
ensure prohibition of retaliation or adverse action against a covered individual because the employee or the student is engaged in protected.
The process for making complaint and conducting Inquiry
The ICC shall comply with the prescribed procedure, for making a complaint and inquiring into the complaint in a time bound manner. The Institution shall provide all necessary facilities to the ICC to conduct the inquiry expeditiously and with required privacy.
Process of making complaint of sexual harassment –
An aggrieved person is required to submit a written complaint to the ICC within three months from the date of the incident and in case of a series of incidents within a period of three months from the date of the last incident.
Provided that where such complaint cannot be made in writing, the Principal or any Member of the Internal Committee shall render all reasonable assistance to the person for making the complaint in writing.
Provided further that the ICC may, for the reasons to be accorded in the writing, extend the time limit not exceeding three months, if it is satisfied that the circumstances were such which prevented the person from filing a complaint within the said period. Friends, relatives, Colleagues, Co-students, Psychologist, or any other associate of the victim may file the complaint in situations where the aggrieved person is unable to make a complaint on account of physical or mental in capacity or death.
Process of conducting Inquiry-
The ICC shall, upon receipt of the complaint, send one copy of the complaint to the respondent within a period of seven days of such receipt.
Upon receipt of the copy of the complaint, the respondent shall file his or her reply to the complaint along with the list of documents, and names and addresses of witnesses within a period of ten days.
The inquiry has to be completed within a period of ninety days from the receipt of the complaint. The inquiry report, with recommendations, if any, has to be submitted within ten days from the completion of the inquiry to the Principal. Copy of the findings or recommendations shall also be served on both parties to the complaint.
The Principal of the college shall act on the recommendations of the committee within a period of thirty days from the receipt of the inquiry report, unless an appeal against the findings is filed within that time by either party.
An appeal against the findings or /recommendations of the ICC may be filed by either party before the Principal of the college within a period of thirty days from the date of the recommendations.
If the Principal of the college decides not to act as per the recommendations of the ICC, then it shall record written reasons for the same to be conveyed to ICC and both the parties to the proceedings. If on the other hand it is decided to act as per the recommendations of the ICC, then a show cause notice, answerable within ten days, shall be served on the party against whom action is decided to be taken. The Principal of the college shall proceed only after considering the reply or hearing the aggrieved person.
The aggrieved party may seek conciliation in order to settle the matter. No monetary settlement should be made as a basis of conciliation. The college shall facilitate a conciliation process through ICC, as the case may be, once it is sought. The resolution of the conflict to the full satisfaction of the aggrieved party wherever possible, is preferred to purely punitive intervention.
The identities of the aggrieved party or victim or the witness or the offender shall not be made public or kept in the public domain especially during the process of the inquiry.
The college may,
Transfer the complainant or the respondent to another section or department to minimise the risks involved in contact or interaction, if such a recommendation is made by the ICC;
Grant leave to the aggrieved with full protection of status and benefits for a period up to three months;
Restrain the respondent from reporting on or evaluating the work or performance or tests or examinations of the complainant;
Ensure that offenders are warned to keep a distance from the aggrieved, and wherever necessary, if there is a definite threat, restrain their entry into the campus;
Take strict measures to provide a conducive environment of safety and protection to the complainant against retaliation and victimisation as a consequence of making a complaint of sexual harassment.
Punishment and Compensation-
Anyone found guilty of sexual harassment shall be punished in accordance with the service rules of the college, if the offender is an employee.
- Where the respondent is a student, depending upon the severity of the offence, the college may, –
- withhold privileges of the student such as access to the library, auditoria, scholarships, allowances, and identity card;
- suspend or restrict entry into the campus for a specific period;
- expel and strike off name from the rolls of the institution, including denial of readmission, if the offence so warrants;
- award reformative punishments like mandatory counselling and, or, performance of community services.
The aggrieved person is entitled to the payment of compensation. The college shall issue direction for payment of the compensation recommended by the ICC and accepted by the Principal, which shall be recovered from the offender. The compensation payable shall be determined on the basis of-
- mental trauma, pain, suffering and distress caused to the aggrieved person;
- the loss of career opportunity due to the incident of sexual harassment;
- the medical expenses incurred by the victim for physical, psychiatric treatment;
- the income and status of the alleged perpetrator and victim; and
- the feasibility of such payment in lump sum or in installment
Action against frivolous complaint—
To ensure that the provisions for the protection of employees and students from sexual harassment do not get misused, provisions against false or malicious complaints shall be made and publicised.
If the ICC concludes that the allegations made were false, malicious or the complaint was made knowing it to be untrue, or forged or misleading information has been provided during the inquiry, the complainant shall be liable to be punished. However, the mere inability to substantiate a complaint or provide adequate proof will not attract attention against the complainant. Malicious intent on the part of the complainant shall not be established without an inquiry, in accordance with the procedure prescribed, conducted before any action is recommended.