From India News Network (INN)
New Delhi, January 11: Janwadi Mahila Samiti expresses grave concern regarding the reported acquittal of Professor Atul Johri of Jawaharlal Nehru University by the Internal Complaints Committee. The clean chit given to Professor Johri smacks of failure to follow the procedure laid down in the POSH Act, 2013 and is a brazen denial of justice to the eight women complainants. The manner in which ICC has issued warnings to the complainants at multiple instances is going to discourage women from filing complaints, which goes completely against the principles of gender justice. The High Court had clearly stated that to lodge a complaint with the ICC or to approach the police is the discretion of the complainant. In this case, since the complainants had no faith in the puppet ICC they had approached the police.
The High Court had already directed Atul Johri to step down from various administrative posts and he was asked not to come to the school of Life Sciences. The ICC was asked to make a prima facie case against Atul Johri on the basis of the FIRs filed. But instead of focusing on a conclusion based on the facts, the ICC judgement seems to be driven solely by the motive to protect the defendant. We are concerned that the ICC, JNU in this case has become an instrument to safeguard the interests of the accused, instead of functioning as an impartial inquiry committee to bring out the facts and impart justice.
We are afraid that such a one-sided judgement against the complainants wherein they have been referred to as being a threat to the accused, will deter female students from filing complaints of sexual harassment in future, which is a matter of serious concern for us.
This trend of the ICC, JNU is a clear pattern of undoing the achievements of the women's movement and needs to be fought tooth and nail.
We stand in complete solidarity with the complainants.
JMS demands that the GSCASH should be reinstated. Pending its reinstatement, the existing mechanism should ensure that it is used to instill confidence among the complainants to redress their grievances rather than intimidate them.