Kalakshetra sexual harassment row: Madras HC calls for Tamil Nadu women's panel report

Kalakshetra sexual harassment row: Madras HC calls for Tamil Nadu women's panel report

A bench of Justice M. Dhandapani called for the commission's inquiry report after the Tamil Nadu Advocate General, R. Shanmugasundaram informed the court that he had no objection on submitting it in the court.

FPJ Education DeskUpdated: Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 06:46 PM IST

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday called for the report by the Tamil Nadu Women's Commission regarding the sexual harassment of students at the Rukmini Devi College of Fine arts managed by the Kalakshetra Foundation.

A bench of Justice M. Dhandapani called for the commission's inquiry report after the Tamil Nadu Advocate General, R. Shanmugasundaram informed the court that he had no objection on submitting it in the court.

Justice Dhandapani also recorded the statement of Additional Solicitor General A.R.L. Sundaresan that the college management shall not subject any of the complainants, their representatives, students, or faculty members who had raised the sexual harassment issue to adverse action, intimidation, or harassment.

The court also permitted the seven students who had petitioned the court seeking a safe learning environment, to remain anonymous fearing backlash from the management for approaching the court. The judge himself did not open the sealed cover in which the identities of the students were revealed.

Justice Dhandapani also asked the management of the institution to restrain the teacher who was arrested and jailed following a criminal complaint of sexual harassment from entering the campus and from contacting any student to avoid undue influence.

The court also said that a decision on the reconstitution of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) would be taken on April 24 after hearing the version of all parties at length. The judge also asked the ASG whether the foundation had any objection to such reconstitution.

He also said that he had a retired justice in mind to head the ICCA and said that it would be in the interest of both the students as well as a reputed institution like the Kalakshetra Foundation to agree for an independent ICC to enquire into the serious allegations leveled by the students against the teachers and faculty at the institute.

(with inputs from IANS)

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