Complaints Committee Against Sexual Harassment
The present members of the Complaints Committee to deal with the complaints of sexual harassment in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court of India relating to sexual harassment of women workers at work places and students are as follows.
|1||Prof. Hema A Murthy
Department of Computer Science
|2||Dr. Jane Prasad
|4||Ms. Latha Ramaseshan
In addition to the above, the Chairman, (VVMHSS), Chief Security Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Chairman (CCW), Chairperson (Women’s Forum), Student General Secretary/Hostel Affairs Secretary will be invited for the meeting, as and when required by the Chairperson, CCASH.
Women in Work Place : To Work Without Harassment
On 13th August 1997, the Supreme Court of India held that sexual harassment of women is a violation of the fundamental right of women to work in a safe environment. The Supreme Court has defined 'sexual harassment' to include
- Physical contact and advances
- Demand or request for sexual favors
- Sexually colored remarks
- Display of pornography
- Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.
Often such behavior goes unpunished because of hesitation on the part of women to report such behavior out of a sense of shame or fear or both. It is important for women to protest against any behavior that they feel is unwanted and unacceptable. The Complaint Committee at IIT Madras has been set up with the aim of providing women an appropriate complaint mechanism against unwelcome sexually determined behavior whether directly or by implication.
What should you do if you are sexually harassed?
- Do not feel ashamed. Tell the harasser very clearly that you find his behavior offensive.
- Do not ignore the harassment in the hope that it will stop on its own. Come forward and complain to the Complaint Committee.
- Talk to somebody you trust about the harassment.It will not only give you strength but also help others in similar situations to come forward and complain.
- Keep a record of all incidents of sexual harassment.If you feel the need to register a formal complaint later, this record will be helpful.
What action can be taken against the offender?
The Complaint Committee is deemed to be an Inquiry Authority for the purpose of CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964 and the report of the Complaint Committee is deemed to be an Inquiry Report under the rules.
After it has been proved that the offender has indulged in sexual harassment in the work place, appropriate disciplinary action would be taken against him irrespective of his status in the Institute (staff, faculty, student). Where such conduct amounts to a specific offense under the Indian Penal Code or under any other law, a complaint will be made to the appropriate authority for action in accordance with the law.
Care shall be taken by the committee to ensure that the victims of sexual harassment and the witnesses shall not be victimized while dealing with the complaint. The victims also have the option to seek transfer of the perpetrator or their own transfer.
The Role of the Committee
- To act as Inquiry Authority on a complaint of sexual harassment.
- To ensure that victims and witnesses are not victimized or discriminated because of their complaint.
- To take proactive measures towards sensitization of the staff, students and faculty members of IIT Madras on gender issues.