Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has given a clean chit to a professor, who was accused of sexual harassment by eight women students on campus in March last year, reported The Indian Express.
The committee has further stated that the accused professor Atul Johri posed “no threat” to the complainants and instead was facing threats from the students who complained and their families.
The report, signed by six members of ICC, including committee’s presiding officer Vibha Tandon has noted that the students who accused Johri had “good friendly relation with defendant and his wife and were celebrating birthdays and festivals together. This fact further strengthened the averment of defendant that allegations of sexual harassment are raised with ulterior motive”.
“However, since the complainants have refused to appear before the committee, therefore certain ingredients could not be ascertained,” The Indian Express reported, quoting the ICC’s statement dated 23 July 2018.
Rejecting the need to suspend Johri, ICC has noted, “the defendant is not a threat to the complainants or any other member of the JNU community”, that he is “not a threat to any witness and is not in a position to influence the witnesses or temper (sic) the evidence”.
The ICC said that “all the apprehensions of the complainants in this regard are totally baseless and unfounded”.
The committee was directed by the Delhi High Court to investigate the matter on 29 May last year. The matter is slated for next hearing on 25 January.
Johri was accused of sexual misconduct by at least nine students last year in March.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)