Moral policing rap on NUJS

Classroom cams off after review commission report

By Mita Mukherjee
  • Published 27.03.18

Salt Lake: A statutory review commission set up by the Chief Justice of India for the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) has got the institute to shut down CCTV surveillance in classrooms and asked the authorities to ensure there is no "moral policing" in the name of security.

The commission's 56-page report recommends, among other things, that guards and other members of the security staff should not have "unrestricted access" to CCTV footage.

"Rules on movement (of students) in and out of the campus curfew are seen as irrational and selectively applied....Moral policing by security guards should be prohibited. Gender sensitisation of guards and wardens should be carried out," states the report, submitted last October but made available to the students only this Saturday.

Metro had reported last August about female students of the Salt Lake law school complaining to vice-chancellor P. Ishwara Bhat that they were being "hounded and harassed" by a section of male employees.

The students accused the staff of circulating CCTV footage and trying to ascertain the identities of those who returned to the campus late.

At NUJS, students are allowed to stay out till 11pm. Female boarders said they were being subjected to unwelcome scrutiny and taunts even while returning within the stipulated time.

"Residents of the women's hostel are...regularly taunted, abused, singled out and harassed by the very security staff that are entrusted with their safety. These remarks are often sexually coloured, cruel and intended to assassinate character," the complaint said.

The commission interacted with the students during an inspection in September.

Acting registrar Sarfaraz Ahmed Khan would not say how the institute would implement the report. "It will be placed at the meeting of the executive council on April 7," he said.