ICC(GSCASH)UoH is committed to providing a place of work and study free of sexual harassment, intimidation, and/or exploitation
E-mail ID: email@example.com
ICC (GSCASH), has been constituted by the University of Hyderabad in consonance with the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, prohibition and redressal) Act 2012 and the University Grants Commission (Prevention, prohibition and redressal of Sexual harassment of women employees and student in higher educational institutions) Regulations 2015.
ICC (GSCASH) is the University’s instrument for addressing issues/grievances/cases of sexual harassment and recommending their redressal. This is in keeping with Article 21 of the Constitution of India which assures every individual the right to live with human dignity, free from exploitation. The State, therefore, is under a constitutional obligation to see that there is no violation of the fundamental right of any person. It is in this spirit that the policy of the University is formulated to prevent sexual harassment of women on the campus. It extends to all students, faculty, staff, officers, residents and visitors of the University. The Committee will take cognizance of all forms of sexual harassment and promote gender sensitisation. This is also in tune with the concern expressed by the University Grants Commission about ensuring a safe environment for women students and employees in educational institutions.
Scope of the Committee
The University of Hyderabad Internal Complaints Committee (earlier known as Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment) will follow the UGC regulations of 2015 issued through a gazette notification of Ministry of Human Resource Development on the 2nd May 2016. These Rules and Procedures of ICC (GSCASH) shall apply to all students, academic staff, and non-teaching staff on active rolls of the UOH, as also to residents, service providers, workers and outsiders, who may be within the territory of UOH at the time of the commission of the act attracting ICC (GSCASH) Rules. These rules and procedures shall be applicable to all complaints of sexual harassment made.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
An unwanted conduct with sexual undertones if it occurs or which is persistent and which demeans, humiliates or creates a hostile and intimidating environment or is calculated to induce submission by actual or threatened adverse consequences and includes anyone or more or all of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour (whether directly or by implication), namely:
- any unwelcome physical, verbal or non verbal conduct of sexual nature;
- demand or request for sexual favours;
- making sexually coloured remarks;
- physical contact and advances; or
- showing pornography
Any one (or more than one or all) of the following circumstances, if it occurs or is present in relation or connected with any behavior that has explicit or implicit sexual undertones –
- implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment as quid pro quo for sexual favours.
- implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in the conduct of work.
- implied or explicit threat about the present or future status of the person concerned.
- creating an intimidating offensive or hostile learning environment.
- humiliating treatment likely to affect the health, safety dignity or physical integrity of the person concerned.
According to the UGC regulations, unless the context otherwise requires,
- “aggrieved woman” means in relation to work place, a woman of any age whether employed or not. who alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment by the respondent;
- ‘Act’ means the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (14 of 2013);
- “campus” means the location or the land on which a Higher Educational Institution and its related institutional facilities like libraries, laboratories, lecture halls, residences. halls, toilets, student centres, hostels, dining halls, stadiums, parking areas, parks-like settings and other amenities like health centres. canteens, Bank counters, etc., are situated and also includes extended campus and covers within its scope places visited as a student of the HEI including transportation provided for the purpose of commuting to and from the institution. The locations outside the institution on field trips, internships, study tours. excursions, short-term placements, places used for camps, cultural festivals, sports meets and such other activities where a person is participating in the capacity of an employee or a student of the HEI;
- Commission” means the University Grants Commission established under section 4 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 (3 of 1956);
- “covered individuals” are persons who have engaged in protected activity such as filing a sexual harassment charge, or who are closely associated with an individual who has engaged in protected activity and such person can be an employee or a fellow student or guardian of the offended person;
- “employee” means a person as defined in the Act and also includes, for the purposes of these Regulations trainee, apprentice (or called by any other name), interns, volunteers, teacher assistants, research assistants, whether employed or not, including those involved in field studies, projects, short-visits and camps;
- “Executive Authority” means the chief executive authority of the HEI, by whatever name called, in which the general administration of the HEI is vested. For public funded institutions the Executive Authority means the Disciplinary Authority as indicated in Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965 or its equivalent rules;
- “Higher Educational Institution” (HEI) means a university within the meaning of clause (j) of section 2, a college within the meaning of clause(b) of sub-section (I) of section 12A and an institution deemed to be a University under section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 (3 of 1956);
- “Internal Complaints Committee” (ICC) means Internal Complaints Committee to be constituted by an HEI under sub regulation (I) of regulation 4 of these regulations. Any existing body already functioning with the same objective (like the Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) should be reconstituted as the ICC; Provided that in the latter case the HEI shall ensure that the constitution of such a Body is as required for ICC under these regulations. Provided further that such a Body shall be bound by the provisions of these regulations;
- “protected activity” includes reasonable opposition to a practice believed to violate sexual harassment laws on behalf of oneself or others such as participation in sexual harassment proceedings, cooperating with an internal investigation or alleged sexual harassment practices or acting as a witness in an investigation by an outside agency or in litigation;
- “student” means a person duly admitted and pursuing a programme of study either through regular mode or distance mode, including short-term training programmes in a HEI; Provided that a student who is in the process of taking admission in HEIs campus, although not yet admitted, shall be treated, for the purposes of these regulations, as a student of that HEI, where any incident of sexual harassment takes place against such student; Provided that a student who is a participant in any of the activities in a HEI other than the HEI where such student is enrolled shall be treated, for the purposes of these regulations, as a student of that HEI where any incident of sexual harassment takes place against such student;
- “Third Party Harassment” refers to a situation where sexual harassment occurs as a result of an act or omission by any third party or outsider, who is not an employee or a student of the HEI, but a visitor to the HEI in some other capacity or for some other purpose or reason;
- “victimisation” means any unfavourable treatment meted out to a person with an implicit or explicit intention to obtain sexual favour;
- “workplace” means the campus of a HEI including
- A) Any department, organisation, undertaking, establishment, enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit which is established, owned, controlled or wholly or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly by the appropriate HEIs;
- B) Any sports institute, stadium, sports complex or competition or games venue, whether residential or not used for training, sports or other activities relating thereof in HEIs;
- C) Any place visited by the employee or student arising out of or during the course of employment or study including transportation provided by the Executive Authority for undertaking such journey for study in HEIs.’
Composition of ICC(GSCASH)
The ICC shall have the following composition:-
A) A Presiding Officer who shall be a woman faculty member employed at a senior level (not below a Professor in case of a university. and not below an Associate Professor or Reader in case of a college) at the educational institution, nominated by the Executive Authority;
Provided that in case a senior level woman employee is not available, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from other offices or administrative units of the workplace referred to in sub-section 2(0);
Provided further that in case the other offices or administrative units of the workplace do not have a senior level woman employee, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from any other workplace of the same employer or other department or organization;
B) Two faculty members and two non-teaching employees, preferably committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge, nominated by the Executive Authority;
C) Three students, if the matter involves students, who shall be enrolled at the undergraduate, master’s, and research scholar levels respectively, elected through transparent democratic procedure;
D) one member from amongst non-government organisations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment, nominated by the Executive Authority.
(2) At least one-half of the total members of the ICC shall be women.
(3) Persons in senior administrative positions in the HEI, such as Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellors,Rectors, Registrar, Deans. Heads of Departments, etc., shall not be members of ICCs in order to ensure autonomy of their functioning.
(4) The term of office of the members of the ICC shall be for a period of three years. HEls may also employ a system whereby one -third of the members of the ICC may change every year.
(5) The Member appointed form amongst the non-governmental organizations or associations shall be paid such fees or allowances for holding the proceedings of the Internal Committee, by the Executive Authority as may be prescribed.
(6) Where the Presiding Officer or any member of the Internal Committee:
a) contravenes the provisions of section 16 of the Act; or
b) has been convicted for an offence or an inquiry into an offence under any law for the time being in force is pending against him; or
c) he has been found guilty in any disciplinary proceedings or a disciplinary proceeding is pending against him; or
has so abused his position as to render his continuance in office prejudicial to the public interest, such Presiding Officer or Member, as the case may be, shall be removed from the Committee and the vacancy so created or any casual vacancy shall be filled by fresh nomination in accordance with the provisions of this section.
ICC has two major functions: Preventive and Remedial
- To work towards creating an atmosphere promoting equality, non-discrimination and gender sensitivity.
- To promote and facilitate measures to create a work and study environment that is free of sexual harassment.
- To receive and take cognizance of complaints made about sexual harassment at the university and give every complaint serious consideration.
- Crisis Management, Mediation and Counselling
- To conduct enquiries into the complaints, place findings and recommendations regarding penalties against the harasser in accordance with the rules and procedures laid down by the GSCASH, before the University Administration.
Rules & Procedures
Process of making complaint of sexual harassment
- An aggrieved person is required to submit a written complaint to the ICC within three months from the date of the incident and in case of a series of incidents within a period of three months from the date of the last incident.
- Provided that where such complaint cannot be made in writing, the Presiding Officer or any Member of the Internal Committee shall render all reasonable assistance to the person for making the complaint in writing.
- Provided further that the ICC may, for the reasons to be accorded in the writing, extend the time limit not exceeding three months, if it is satisfied that the circumstances were such which prevented the person from filing a complaint within the said period.
- Friends, relatives, Colleagues, Co-students, Psychologist, or any other associate of the victim may file the complaint in situations where the aggrieved person is unable to make a complaint on account of physical or mental incapacity or death.
Process of conducting Inquiry-
- The ICC shall, upon receipt of the complaint, send one copy of the complaint to the respondent within a period of seven days of such receipt.
- Upon receipt of the copy of the complaint, the respondent shall file his or her reply to the complaint along with the list of documents, and names and addresses of witnesses within a period of ten days.
- The inquiry has to be completed within a period of ninety days from the receipt of the complaint. The inquiry report, with recommendations, if any, has to be submitted within ten days from the completion of the inquiry to the Executive Authority of the HEI. Copy of the findings or recommendations shall also be served on both parties to the complaint.
- The Executive Authority of the HEI shall act on the recommendations of the committee within a period of thirty days from the receipt of the inquiry report, unless an appeal against the findings is filed within that time by either party.
- An appeal against the findings or recommendations of the ICC may be filed by either party before the Executive Authority of the HEI within a period of thirty days from the date of the recommendations.
- If the Executive Authority of the HEI decides not to act as per the recommendations of the ICC, then it shall record written reasons for the same to be conveyed to ICC and both the parties to the proceedings. If on the other hand it is decided to act as per the recommendations of the ICC, then a show cause notice, answerable within ten days, shall be served on the party against whom action is decided to be taken. The Executive Authority of the HEI shall proceed only after considering the reply or hearing the aggrieved person.
- The aggrieved party may seek conciliation in order to settle the matter. No monetary settlement should be made as a basis of conciliation. The HEI shall facilitate a conciliation process through ICC as the case may be, once it is sought. The resolution of the conflict to the full satisfaction of the aggrieved party wherever possible is preferred to purely punitive intervention.
- The identities of the aggrieved party or victim or the witness or the offender shall not be made public or kept in the public domain especially during the process of the inquiry.
The HEI may,
(a) transfer the complainant or the respondent to another section or department to minimise the risks involved in contact or interaction, if such a recommendation is made by the ICC;
(b) grant leave to the aggrieved with full protection of status and benefits for a period up to three months;
(c) restrain the respondent from reporting on or evaluating the work or performance or tests or examinations of the complainant;
(d) ensure that offenders are warned to keep a distance from the aggrieved, and wherever necessary, if there is a definite threat, restrain their entry into the campus;
(e) take strict measures to provide a conducive environment of safety and protection to the complainant against retaliation and victimisation as a consequence of making a complaint of sexual harassment.
Punishment and compensation
(1) Anyone found guilty of sexual harassment shall be punished in accordance with the service rules of the HEl, if the offender is an employee.
(2) Where the respondent is a student, depending upon the severity of the offence, the HEI may,
(a) withhold privileges of the student such as access to the library, auditoria, halls of residence, transportation, scholarships, allowances, and identity card;
(b) suspend or restrict entry into the campus for a specific period;
(c) expel and strike off name from the rolls of the institution, including denial of readmission, if the offence so warrants;
(d) award reformative punishments like mandatory counselling and, or, performance of community services.
(3) The aggrieved person is entitled to the payment of compensation. The HEI shall issue direction for payment of the compensation recommended by the ICC and accepted by the Executive Authority, which shall be recovered from the offender. The compensation payable shall be determined on the basis of
(a) mental trauma, pain, suffering and distress caused to the aggrieved person;
(b) the loss of career opportunity due to the incident of sexual harassment;
(c) the medical expenses incurred by the victim for physical, psychiatric treatment;
(d) the income and status of the alleged perpetrator and victim; and
(e) the feasibility of such payment in lump sum or in installments.
Action against frivolous complaint
To ensure that the provisions for the protection of employees and students from sexual harassment do not get misused, provisions against false or malicious complaints have to be made and publicised within all HEIs. If the ICC concludes that the allegations made were false, malicious or the complaint was made knowing it to be untrue, or forged or misleading information has been provided during the inquiry, the complainant shall be liable to be punished as per the provisions of sub-regulations (1) of regulations 10, if the complainant happens to be an employee and as per sub-regulation (2) of that regulation, if the complainant happens to be a student. However, the mere inability to substantiate a complaint or provide adequate proof will not attract attention against the complainant. Malicious intent on the part of the complainant shall not be established without an inquiry, in accordance with the procedure prescribed, conducted before any action is recommended.
UNIVERSITY OF HYDERABAD
Internal Complaints Committee
Members contact details & Mail ID
(with effect from 29 March,2023 )
|Prof. J .Anuradha
Department of Dance, SN School of Arts and Communication
|Prof. Suchandra Ghosh
Department of History,
School of Social Sciences
|Prof. S. Arulmozi
Centre for Applied Linguistics and Translation Studies
|Dr. N. Rukma Rekha
School of Computer and Information Sciences
|Mrs. Y. Aravinda
Programmer, office of the Controller of Examinations
|Ms. Sreelata Chebrol,
Kriti Social Initiatives, NGO
|Ms. Subashini S.S
|Ms.Hritik Laxman Lalan
|Ms. Shipha Minz
IMA Language Sciences
|Dr. Shree Gyanmote
|Member and Convenor
President Students Union