Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Draft Rules and Regulation to fight Sexual Harassment at AMU


Here is the draft rules and regulation of the Committee against Sexual Harassment and for Gender Sensitization(CASHGS) at AMU prepared by me. I have prepared the draft in the light of the GSCASH Rules and Regulation, JNU. However, the draft rules and regulation has been written by me keeping in mind the AMU Act, Statutes, Ordinances and other rules and regulations in place and therefore its very much different from JNU GSCASH at many points. I am working to enact these rules and regulation in association with some other students as through the RTI activism I documented the facts that Women Cell in AMU has remain ineffective and failed to protect the women in AMU campus. 
The draft rules was first handed over to the Vice-Chancellor on the day of the installation of AMU Students Union for the session 2010-11 in the last week of January by the President elect, AMUSU. 
Another revised draft of the CASHGS bearing my signature was again sent to the Vice-Chancellor, AMU by the President, AMUSU in the letter vide D.No. 3079/SU and dated April 5, 2010 for its immediate enactment through the use of the emergency powers of the Vice-Chancellor.
Vice-Chancellor in its historic move where first time in the last 10 years since Women Cell, AMU was constituted has formed another 10 member high level committee to prepare "comprehensive rules for A.M.U in relation to Sexual Harassment and Gender Sensitization "due to the letter mentioned above. Read here  http://www.scribd.com/doc/54167800/Womens-Cell-Order
The High Level Committee is about to prepare their comprehensive draft rules on this regard as 2 meetings has already been done in the month of May, 2011. However students and other stakeholders of AMU including Women Rights Activists should work in tandem that AMU doesn't enact an ineffective rules and regulation on this regard. Therefore constant vigil by civil society and students is needed so that we may point the flaw during the making of this rules and regulations
I am posting the draft rules prepared by me. If anyone has any comments or suggestions to make the rules regarding Women Cell strong and effective please mail me at adilhossain43@gmail.com.


ALIGARH MUSLIM UNIVERSITY

Rules and Procedures of Committee Against Sexual Harassment & for Gender Sensitization (CASHGS)
[Prepared by Md. Adil Hossain, M.A Mass Communication IV Semester, En No-GA0403]

[Presented by President, AMU Students’ Union in consonance with the Guidelines laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court (Vishaka vs. State of Rajasthan & Apparel Export Promotion Council vs A. K. Chopra) with the requested for enactment]

1.     SHORT TITLE AND COMMENCENT: These rules shall be called “Rules and Procedures of Committee Against Sexual Harassment & for Gender Sensitization”.
They shall come into force with effect from ......................................... .

2.     DEFINITIONS: In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a)      SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Sexual harassment in the context of these rules includes any unwelcome sexually determined behaviour, explicit or implicit, and includes physical contact and advances, a demand or request for sexual favours, sexually coloured remarks, showing pornography, and other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.
(b)      EMPLOYEES: Employees include Vice Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Directors Academic Programmes, Teaching/Research and Non-teaching staff, including Registrar, Finance Officer, Controller of Examinations, Officers on Special Duty, Consultants, etc.
(c)      CAMPUS: Campus includes all places of instruction, research and administration, hostels, guesthouses, employees’ residences allotted on the campus of Aligarh Muslim University (hereinafter as the University) and public places connecting them.
(d)      COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE: Complaints Committee means the Committee which shall inquire into the allegation of sexual harassment and facilitate the filing of such complaints. The Complaints Committee shall be the Disciplinary Enquiry Committee for all cases of allegation of sexual harassment. Complaints Committee shall be the actual Committee Against Sexual Harassment & For Gender Sensitization (hereinafter as the CASHGS).
(e)      EXECUTIVE COUNCIL: Executive Council means the Executive Council of the University.
(f)       APPEAL: Appeal means any appeal to the Executive Council against any decision of the Complaints Committee.
(g)      NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATION (NGO): NGO includes any organisation registered under the Societies’ Registration Act or a public charitable trust recognised under law not affiliated to any political party and engaged in work for gender equality for a minimum of three years prior to the date of empanelment, with two-third registered members not having been associated or are associated in any capacity with the University i.e. at least two-thirds of the membership shall not include any person who is a student, resident, service provider, or a member of the academic staff or non-teaching staff of Aligarh Muslim University.
(h)      OUTSIDER: Outsider includes any person who is not a student, resident, an employee or a service provider of the University.
(i)       STUDENT: Student includes any person who is enrolled for a full or part time course of the University and includes notionally admitted students.
(j)       COMPLAINT: Complaint includes an allegation of sexual harassment in or outside campus registered against an employee, student or outsider and may be oral or in writing.
(k)      FUNCTIONARY: Functionary shall include persons defined as functionaries in the Statutes and Ordinances of the University.
(l)       VOLUNTEERS: Volunteers shall include all such persons enlisted by the Complaints Committee to help discharge its functions.
(k)      SERVICE PROVIDER: Service provider includes any person who works in, runs or manages a commercial enterprise, or provides services, such as shops, canteens, hostels, restaurants, domestic help, on the campus.

3.     COMPOSITION OF THE COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE:

(a)   The senior most lady teacher and the senior most lady non-teaching staff who are not an officer or functionary of the University during the tenure of membership of the Complaints Committee.
      Provided the Senior most lady teacher shall Chair the meeting.
(b)   Two teachers to be elected from among themselves out of one shall be a lady teacher.
Provided the elected lady teacher shall be the Convener of the Complaints Committee.
(c)    Three girl students one Research Scholar, one Post graduate and one Under graduate elected for an academic session or such time till she remains a student whichever is   earlier from amongst themselves.
       Provided these elections shall be held in the Halls of Residence of the Girls to be completed by the University within 60 days from the beginning of academic session.
(d) One student to be nominated by the Students Union Executive, one teacher to be nominated by the Aligarh Muslim University Teachers Association Executive and one nominee by the Executive of various Associations of the Non-teaching employees by rotation for a period of one year from amongst themselves.
(e)   One lady representative of an NGO to be nominated by the Executive Council.
        Provided no one shall be a member for more than two years from the categories (a), (b) and (e).


Chairperson and any member of the Complaints Committee shall be disqualified for appointment, election or nomination or for being continued if there is any complaint concerning sexual harassment pending against her/him, or if she/he has been found guilty of sexual harassment/serious misconduct.


If a member elected or nominated to Complaints Committee remains absent without written intimation to it for three consecutive meetings she/he would be deemed to have vacated her/his membership.
Provided that in the absence of Convener the Chairperson shall act as both Convener & Chairperson.

6.     RESIGNATION OF A MEMBER:

A member of the Complaints Committee may resign her/his office at any time by tendering her/his resignation in writing to its Chairperson. Such a person shall be deemed to have vacated her/his office as soon as Complaints Committee has accepted the resignation.


7.   PROCEDURE:

A.    All procedures of the Complaints Committee shall be Right to Information Act, 2005 complaint.
B.     The Complaints Committee shall ensure that at no time during the procedure the complainant and the alleged offender(s) are face to face, e.g. they shall not be called at the same time and be made to wait in the same place.
C.    The Complaints Committee shall ensure that at no time during the procedure the past sexual history of the complainant be probed into, as such information shall be deemed irrelevant to a complaint of sexual harassment.
D.    The Complaints Committee shall immediately on receiving a complaint issue a restraint order to the alleged offender(s) as prescribed in the Form-I of the Schedule, with a copy endorsed to the complainant, informing that a complaint of sexual harassment has been received against her/him and issue a warning that any attempt on her/his part or by person(s) acting on her/his behalf, to contact, or influence, or intimidate, or exert pressure on the complainant or any person in the complainant’s confidence may prove prejudicial to her/his case.
E.     The identities of all witnesses shall throughout be protected by the Enquiry Committee by the use of a coding system.

(a)   FILING OF COMPLAINT:

(i)           Any employee, student, resident or service provider may lodge a complaint of sexual harassment against an employee, student, resident, service provider or outsider.
(ii)         Complaints are to be addressed in written to the Chairperson of the Complaints Committee and can be lodged directly with Chairperson or any member of Complaints Committee or the Registrar, or volunteers who shall bring the same to the notice of the Chairperson within three working days of the receipt of the Complaint. The Complainant may use the prescribed format for such complain as provided in the Form-II of the Schedule.
(iii)       In case the complaint is oral it shall be reduced in writing by the Complaints Committee or any of its members and authenticated by the complainant under her/his dated signature or thumb impression as the case may be in the prescribed format as provided in the Form-II of the Schedule.
(iv)    The Complaints Committee or any of its members may take suo moto cognisance of a case of sexual harassment and present it in writing to the Chairperson of the Complaints Committee.

(b)   DISPOSAL OF COMPLAINT:

(i)           The Convener of the Complaints Committee shall as soon as possible but not later than three days from the date of receipt of the complaint call a meeting to screen the complaint.
(ii)         The Complaints Committee shall immediately issue a show cause notice to the alleged offender(s) with the requirement to present a statement of defence within ten days after considering which intimate the complainant in prescribed format as provided in Form-III of the Schedule and any other person for a preliminary hearing to be convened not later than five days from the date of receipt of the statement of defence but not later than fifteen days from the above meeting to provide an opportunity to be heard to the complainant and the alleged offender(s) who shall be supplied with details of the complaint such as the location, date, time and the alleged incident along with a copy of these Rules and Procedures according to the prescribed format as provided in the Form-IV of the Schedule.
(iii)       On receiving the intimation the complainant and the alleged offender(s) shall within two working days submit to the Chairperson a list of witnesses, together with their contact details that she/he desires the Complaints Committee to examine and may nominate an employee or a student of the University to assist during the proceedings. No person who has been found guilty of sexual harassment shall be accepted as a nominee.
(iv)       After the preliminary hearing the Complaints Committee shall fix a date, not later than five days, separately for each for inspection of documents of which the parties may take notes.
(v)         The alleged offender, the complainant, and witnesses shall be intimated at least three days in advance in writing of the date, time and venue of the proceedings
(vi)       The Convener shall convene the first regular hearing of the enquiry not later than ten days after the preliminary hearing.
(vii)     The gaps between subsequent hearings shall not exceed 10 days.
(viii)   The complainant and the alleged offender shall have the right of cross-examination of all witnesses.
(ix)       The complainant and the alleged offender shall be responsible for presenting their witnesses before the Complaints Committee. However, if the Complaints Committee is convinced that the absence of either of the parties to the disputes is on valid grounds, the Complaints Committee shall adjourn that particular meeting of the Committee for a period not exceeding five days. The meeting so adjourned shall be conducted thereafter, even if the person concerned fails to appear for the said adjourned meeting without prior intimation/valid ground.
(x)         All proceedings of the Complaints Committee shall be video recorded and also be recorded in writing and the same together with the statement of witnesses shall be authenticated by the persons concerned.
(xi)       If the complainant desires to tender any documents by way of evidence, the Complaints Committee shall supply certified copies of such documents to the alleged offender and vice a versa.
(xii)     In the event that the Complaints Committee thinks that supplementary testimony is required, the Chairperson shall forward to the persons concerned a summary of the proceedings and allow for a time period of five days to submit such testimony, in person or in writing, to it.
(xiii)   After concluding its investigation, the Complaints Committee shall submit a detailed reasoned report of its findings to the authority/officer competent to take disciplinary action against the alleged offender.
(xiv)   Nothing in these rules or procedures precludes the Complaints Committee from taking cognisance of any new fact or evidence which may arise during the proceedings or even after the communication of the findings and to bring it to the notice of the competent disciplinary authority/officer and proceed further in the matter.
(xv)     The entire procedure of disposal of the complaint shall not exceed a period of ninety days, if absolutely essential the need to go beyond this period shall be decided by two-third majority of the members present and voting and reasons and period of extension therefore shall be recorded in writing.
(xvi)    The Complaints Committee shall submit the report within fifteen days after closing the enquiry.
(xvii)         The appropriate disciplinary authority/officer shall take decision on the report of the Complaints Committee within sixty days.  
(xviii)     The quorum for all the meetings shall be one-third of the existing members of the Complaints Committee.


(c)    MEETINGS OF THE COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE:

(i)           The Complaints Committee shall meet at least four times a semester or at such intervals as may be necessary provided that the interval between two successive meetings shall not exceed 30 days.
(ii)         Members shall be intimated in writing seven days before an Ordinary Meeting accompanied by the Agenda.
Provided in case of urgency a Special Meeting may be convened for which notice shall be five days.
Provided a member may requisition a meeting which shall be held within three days of the receipt of the request.
(iii)       The proceedings of meetings shall be video recorded and the Minutes shall be recorded and placed before the Executive Council at its next meeting. The Minutes shall specify the date of and person who received the complaint and the date on which the complaint was brought to its notice and clearly specify all subsequent dates of meetings, etc.
(iv)       The quorum for a meeting shall be one-third of the existing members of the Complaints Committee.
(v)         Motions shall be carried by a simple majority of those present and voting.


8.     POWERS OF THE COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE:

(a)   The Complaints Committee may call any person to appear as a witness in the prescribed format as provided in the Form-V & Form-VI of the Schedule if it is of the opinion that it shall be in the interest of justice.
(b)   The Complaints Committee shall have the power to summon any official papers or documents pertaining to the complainant as well as the alleged offender(s).
(c)    The Complaints Committee may consider as relevant any earlier complaints against the alleged offender(s).
(d)   The Complaints Committee shall have the right to summon, as many times as required, the alleged offender in the prescribed format as provided in the Form-VII, complainant as provided in the Form-VIII of the Schedule and/or any witnesses as empowered in Section 8(a) of these rules for the purpose of supplementary testimony and/or clarifications.
(e)    The Complaints Committee shall have the right to terminate and to decide the complaint ex parte if the alleged offender(s) fail, without valid ground, to present herself/himself for three consecutive hearings.


9.     OTHER FUNCITIONS OF THE COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE:


(a)   GENDER SENSITISATION AND ORIENTATION:

(i)           The Complaints Committee shall ensure prominent publicity of these Rules and Procedures throughout the University by all the possible means.
(ii)         The Complaints Committee shall organize programmes for the gender sensitisation of the University community through workshops, seminars, posters, film shows, debates, skits, etc. It may enlist the help of specialized NGOs and any campus body to carry out these programmes.
(iii)       The Complaints Committee shall conduct at least one major activity per semester involving large sections of the University community.
(iv)       The Chairperson of the Complaints Committee shall be responsible for making the complainant aware that counselling services can be made available, if so desired.

(b)   CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND MEDIATION:

(i)           The Complaints Committee shall assist in the mediation of situations arising out of incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault on the campus.
(ii)         The Complaints Committee shall co-ordinate with the campus security services to devise ways and means by which a system of crisis management that is gender-sensitive as well as prompt and effective is put in place. It shall maintain regular contact with the campus security services to ensure that in crises arising out of incidents of sexual harassment the members of the Complaints Committee are contacted immediately.
(iii)       The Complaints Committee at the beginning of each academic session shall notify a list and activate an adequately representative team of volunteers, who shall assist in gender sensitisation and crisis management and may receive complaints of sexual harassment.
(iv)       The Complaints Committee at the beginning of each academic session shall ensure widespread publicity of the contact details (both official and personal) of all its members and volunteers. 
(v)         The Complaints Committee shall organise training workshops for members and volunteers to equip them to handle sexual harassment cases, including legal and medical aspects.
(vi)       In cases the sexually motivated conduct with an employee, student, resident, service provider or outsider and in case of a specific offence under the Indian Penal Code or any other Indian law, the Complaints Committee shall assist the affected party in making a complaint to the appropriate authority outside the University.

10.   VIOLATION OF RESTRAINT ORDER:

(a)         The complainant or any other person should intimate in writing to the Chairperson of the Complaints Committee of any violation of the order of restraint by the alleged offender(s), or any person(s) acting on her/his behalf.
(b)         In case the Complaints Committee is convinced of the truth of such allegation, the Chairperson may summon the alleged offender(s) in person and issue a verbal and written warning that such behaviour may lead to an adverse inference being drawn against her/him.
(c)          In case of complaint of violation of restraint order the Complaints Committee shall retain the right to close the enquiry proceedings and to give an ex parte decision on the complaint.
(d)         The Complaints Committee shall consider all violations of the restraint order when determining the nature of offence of an alleged offender(s).





11.   SUB-COMMITTEES:

The Complaints Committee may form as many sub-committees from amongst its members in the interest of its smooth functioning and may assign it functions.

12.   PENALTIES:

The appropriate disciplinary authority in accordance to the Section 7(b)(xvii) of these Rules and Procedures shall call a meeting with the members of the Complaints Committee in which at least half of its members shall be present to discuss its findings and recommendations.

Any student, service provider, resident, outsider, or an employee of the University found guilty of sexual harassment shall be liable for disciplinary action. Although the award of penalty in specific cases is outside the scope of CASHGS, the range and type of possible penalties from which the University authorities may pick up the one suitable for individual cases is given below in hierarchical sequence for all five categories of persons, namely:

(1)   Academic Staff (2) Non-Teaching Staff (3) Students (4) Outsiders ; (5) Service Providers
The penalties listed below, although fairly exhaustive, are only an indicative guide and shall not constrain the University authorities from considering some other penalty to suit the specifics of individual cases. The penalties listed below are in a rising order of severity.
i. Warning, reprimand, or censure.
ii. Withholding of one or more increments for a period not exceeding one year.
iii. Removal from an administrative position at the Centre, School and/or University levels.
iv. Disbarment from holding an administrative position at the Centre, School and/or University levels.
v. Compulsory retirement.
vi. Dismissal from service.

i. Warning, reprimand, or censure.
ii. Transfer.
iii. With holding of one or more increments for a period not exceeding one year.
iv. Compulsory retirement.
v. Dismissal from service.

(C) Penalties in Case of Students shall be in accordance to the Aligarh Muslim University Students Conduct & Discipline Rules, 1985.
i. Warning or reprimand.
ii. Transfer to another hostel.
iii. Withdrawal of hostel accommodation for a period up to one semester.
iv. Withdrawal of the right to an official character certificate from the University.
v. Withdrawal of hostel accommodation for the entire period of study.
vi.  Rustication from the University for a period up to two semesters.
vii. Expulsion from the University, and/or a bar on appearing for the entrance examination/interview to any programme of study offered by the University.
viii. Withholding of a degree awarded by the University.



i. Warning, reprimand, or censure.
ii. A letter communicating her/his misconduct to her/his place of education, employment or residence.
iii. Declaration of the campus as out of bounds for her/him, and/or a bar on appearing for the entrance examination/interview to any programme of study offered by the University                                       iv. Any other action as may be necessary.
i. Warning, reprimand, or censure.
ii. A letter communicating her/his misconduct to her/his place of employment.
iii. Declaration of the campus as out of bounds for her/him.
iv. Withdrawal of the right to run/manage/work in any commercial enterprise, or to provide services, on the campus.
v. Any other action as may be necessary.

In addition to the penalties specified under (1)-(5) above, the person shall be advised to undergo counselling and gender sensitisation, and to give a written and/or public apology to the complainant preferably in the prescribed format as provided in the Form-IX of the Schedule.

A second, or repeated offence, may, on the recommendation of CASHGS, attract a major penalty.

13. ANNUAL REPORT OF CASHGS

CASHGS shall, in accordance with the Supreme Court Judgement, forward an Annual Report on the discharge of its functions of gender sensitization and orientation, crisis mediation and formal enquiry and redressal to the government department concerned, through the Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University. The Annual Report shall also be presented and discussed in atleast one public meeting called for the purpose of the CASHGS.
14. FALSE COMPLAINT/ DEPOSITION
A. If the Complaints Committee by two-third majority finds no merit in any complaint/deposition, it shall write to the Chairperson of CASHGS giving reasons for its conclusions.
B. Within four working days of the receipt of this communication, the Chairperson of CASHGS shall call a Special Meeting to discuss the recommendations of the Complaints Committee to decide whether a show-cause notice shall be issued to the complainant/witness(es).
C. Upon the decision to issue a show-cause notice, the Chairperson of CASHGS shall issue it to the complainant/witness(es). The show-cause notice shall cite the bases of the Committee’s conclusions and require the complainant/witness(es) to explain, within seven days (in writing and/or in person), as to why disciplinary action shall not be taken against her/him.
D. Within four working days of receipt of any explanation from the complainant/witness(es) to this show-cause notice, or after the expiry of the time specified for such explanation, the Chairperson of CASHGS shall convene a Special Meeting to consider the explanation or any lack thereof.
E. In event of no, insufficient, or unconvincing explanation, CASHGS shall forward its findings to the appropriate University Authority for further action.



A. If the complainant is a student and the defendant(s) is a teacher, during the investigation and enquiry, and even after such an enquiry if the teacher is found guilty, the defendant(s) shall not supervise any academic activity of the student, including but not limited to, evaluation and examination, re-examination, and supervision of research.
B. If a witness named by the complainant is a student and the defendant(s) is a teacher, during the duration of the investigation and enquiry, and even after such an enquiry if the teacher is found guilty, the defendant shall not supervise any academic activity of the student, including but not limited to, evaluation and examination, re-examination, and supervision of research.
C. If both the complainant and the defendant(s) are members of the teaching and/or non-teaching staff of the University, during the duration of the investigation and enquiry, and even after such an enquiry if the defendant is found guilty, the defendant shall not write the Confidential Reports of the complainant, if she/he is otherwise so authorized.
D. If witnesses named by the complainant and the defendant(s) are members of the academic and/or non-teaching staff of the University, during the duration of the investigation and enquiry, and even after such an enquiry if the defendant is found guilty, the defendant shall not write the Confidential Reports of the complainant, if she/he is otherwise so authorized.
E. If the defendant(s) is an outsider, during the duration of the investigation and enquiry, and even after such an enquiry if the defendant is found guilty, the defendant shall not be allowed to enter the campus by the order of the concerned authorities, except for the purpose of attending the present enquiry.
F. If the defendant(s) is a resident/service provider, during the duration of the investigation and enquiry, and even after such an enquiry if the defendant is found guilty, the order of restraint issued in accordance with the procedures in Section 7(D) shall be in force at all times.

A. Amendments to the Rules and Procedures of CASHGS shall have effect only if they are in consonance with the letter and spirit of the Supreme Court Judgement, the Policy, and the Rules and Procedures.
B. Amendments shall be effected by a decision taken in a Special Meeting of CASHGS called for the purpose.
C. The proposed amendment (s), together with the objectives and reasons thereof, shall be recorded in writing and circulated by the proposer of the amendment (s) at least fifteen working days prior to the Special Meeting called for the purpose.
D. An amendment motion shall be earned by two-thirds of the members present and voting. In the event of a tie on an amendment motion, it shall be put to vote one more time. If a tie recurs, the amendment motion shall be reconsidered by another Special Meeting to be called after at least fifteen working days.








17.   MISCELLENOUS:

  1. The proceedings under these Rules and Procedures shall not, in any way, be affected by any other proceedings against the alleged offender(s) preferred by the complainant under any other provision of civil or criminal law, except to the extent specifically ordered by a court of law.
  2. The provisions of these Rules and Procedures shall not restrict the powers of the University or the complainant to proceed against the alleged offender for any other misconduct, or pursue criminal or civil remedies, whether or not connected with the misconduct within the purview of these rules.
  3. In case of an allegation of sexual harassment against an outsider the Complaints Committee shall take all steps to ensure that an FIR is filed by the Proctor’s Office or by the Complainants himself/herself in the incident.
  4. All infrastructure, including office, and clerical and secretarial assistance shall be provided by the Office of the Registrar.
  5. The Office of the Registrar shall ensure that these rules and procedures shall be given to all the students at the time of the admission, published on the University Official Website and in the prospectus of the University.
  6. An appeal against the report of the Complaints Committee shall lie before the Executive Council. 

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