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NUJS harass probe report filed

The internal complaints committee of the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) has filed its final report on an employee’s complaint of sexual harassment on campus lodged over eight months ago.

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act makes it mandatory for internal probe panels to file the final report within three months of the complaint being lodged.

“The internal complaints panel submitted its final report (on the complaint of sexual harassment) in a sealed envelope to vice-chancellor P. Ishwara Bhat on Tuesday,” said a source at the Bypass law school.

The executive council — the highest policy-making body of the university — had on February 8 asked the panel to submit the final report by February 17.

Any action based on the report is unlikely before a month as the authorities have decided to open the sealed envelop at the next meeting of the executive council, likely to be held in the third week of March, the source said.

“We will decide our course of action after studying the report of the internal complaints committee,” the source said.

Some employees at the institution, however, said that given the “sensitive” nature of the case, the authorities should act at the earliest, instead of waiting for the next meeting of the council.

An internal complaints committee had submitted an interim report to the council on September 12, 94 days after the employee lodged a written complaint to the vice-chancellor that a colleague had sexually harassed her on campus.

The council rejected the report after a member observed that it was “misleading” and “self-contradictory,” and it contained “several flaws” and “discarded many vital statements” of key officials of the law school. The council reconstituted the panel and ordered a fresh inquiry.

The accused employee has been suspended. He was arrested on December 27 and released on bail in January.