SC to see if IIT can withhold result of student accused of sexual harassment
The Supreme Court has said it will examine whether an IIT can withhold the results of a final-year student, who was terminated after being held guilty in a sexual harassment case.
A bench of justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao issued notice to the Centre and IIT Kanpur on the plea of the student, who challenged the Allahabad High Court order dismissing his plea.
Advocate Manu Shanker Mishra, appearing for the petitioner, said the results of the final semester should be given to the student as the delay is jeopardising his career.
The petitioner, before being terminated, was a final-year student of Department of Physics after being admitted to the institute in July 2012.
He was expelled from the institute in April 2016 after he was found guilty of sexually harassing a girl student.
The 23-year-old BSc Physics girl student had accused her senior of sexually harassing her for two years after which the college administration had forwarded the matter to the Women’s Cell. The cell found the accused guilty and he was expelled later.
He claimed that the Women’s Cell never gave the copy of the complaint made by the girl to him and did not even consider his reply.
“The charges levelled against the petitioner were absolutely vague and were incapable of being replied properly. However, the petitioner gave replies to all the charges and he also tried to support his defence by introducing a large number of documents and a list of students who would appear as witnesses in the inquiry in support of his defence,” he said.
The student claimed that the findings of the Internal Complaint’s Committee were also not made available to him by the Women’s Cell.
He said that the report of the Women’s Cell together with the minutes of the meeting of the Senate Students’ Affairs Committee of March 30, 2016 were placed before the Academic Senate for its consideration on April 5, 2016 and were ratified and he was terminated.
“The Academic Senate did not give a copy of the report to the petitioner and it also did not give him any show-cause notice asking him to appear before the Senate for hearing.
“No opportunity of hearing of any kind whatsoever was afforded to the petitioner either by the Senate Students’ Affairs Committee or by the Academic Senate before the aforesaid decision of terminating the academic programme of the petitioner was taken by them,” he said.
The student claimed that his defence was not considered at all by the authorities at any stage of the proceedings and “there was sufficient material supplied by the petitioner so as to demonstrate that the complaint that was made against him by the female student was malicious”.
He said that single judge bench of the Allahabad High Court had ordered that the petitioner will submit a written unconditional apology before the institution and had directed the IIT to declare the petitioner’s result, if he has passed the examination.
IIT Kanpur, however, challenged the order of the single- judge bench which the division bench on February 3, set aside.