Tag Archives: Vishakha guidelines

Sexual Harassment ‘in-house’ for the Supreme Court – is sunlight the best disinfectant? Pratiksha Baxi

Guest Post by PRATIKSHA BAXI

The publication of a sworn affidavit by a former Supreme Court staffer testifying to sexual harassment by the Chief Justice of India has been treated as a scandal, whether the complainant was believed or not. And the subsequent events – an extraordinary suo moto hearing, allegations of a conspiracy against the independence of the judiciary, the in-house committee’s decision to exonerate the CJI – have evoked the normative question whether such forms of judicial exceptionalism are the necessary condition for judging in our courts.

Yet asking such questions ran the risk of being labelled as an ‘institution de-stabiliser’. The intent was to invent social consensus by deploying labelling as a technique of censoring and delegitimising feminist critique. Not so long ago women who challenged male authority were described as witches, today they are labelled anti-national, institution destabilisers, presstitutes or simply, left-liberal/JNU type.

However, whether one walks right, left, centre or zigzag, it cannot be denied that jurisprudential questions need answers beyond the specifics of this case. One would have thought that it is also in the interest of all judges to devise a procedure that is constitutionally sound and invested in gender justice, while recognising the specific problems that judges may have because of the nature of their work. And that the Supreme Court would recognise that it is in the interest of every survivor of sexual harassment, irrespective of ideology or status, to be provided normative answers.

Continue reading Sexual Harassment ‘in-house’ for the Supreme Court – is sunlight the best disinfectant? Pratiksha Baxi

A third woman accuses Pachauri of harassment

Yesterday, a young woman accused TERI’s Rajendra Pachauri of harassing her when she worked briefly as an intern when she was only 19 years old. When she resisted Pachauri’s advances, the woman says in her statement, her contract – originally signed for a duration of one year – was terminated in only 4 months. Here, we reproduce her statement in full – as obtained from her lawyers.

I have read the story “Rajendra Pachauri speaks out over sexual harassment claims”, published in The Guardian. I remember that in the third week of February 2015, I had read some news reports which said that an employee of TERI had filed a criminal complaint against R.K. Pachauri for sexually harassing her. On reading these news reports, I was 0% surprised. I can very much relate to what the other women wrote in her statement. When I was 19, I worked for 4 months (end of 2008) at TERI, as Pachauri’s secretary. Pachauri’s claim that his computer was hacked is totally false. From my point of view, this is right in line with his character, and not a case of his computer being hacked. I think it is important for me to now make my statement public so that people know the truth about Pachauri.

Here is what I recall from my time in TERI.  Continue reading A third woman accuses Pachauri of harassment

Response to Shantanu Guha Ray’s Mumbai Mirror Article on Tarun Tejpal: Anonymous

Guest post by ANONYMOUS

[The letter below was sent to the Mumbai Mirror by the woman journalist who has accused Tarun Tejpal of rape. The paper is yet to issue a clarification on Mr Guha Ray’s connection to the rape accused Mr Tejpal, or to carry this letter on its website, or paper. As per Indian Law the identity of a victim of sexual assault is protected. We are thus carrying the letter below without disclosing her identity]

To

The Editor

Mumbai Mirror

This is to draw your attention to the article printed in your newspaper titled “Rape Charges Against Tarun Tejpal: Over Two Years On, Trial Yet to Begin” dated March 21, 2016 by Shantanu Guha Ray.

Having long admired the Mumbai Mirror, I was disappointed to note the factual inconsistencies and biases evident in the article. To begin with, Mr Guha Ray, allegedly a senior journalist (and therefore, one hopes, familiar with at least a few journalistic tenets) fails to mention in his piece that he worked under the rape accused, Tarun Tejpal, for several years at Tehelka magazine, and was also the head of Tehelka’s sister venture, Financial World – indicating that he had significant financial interest the magazine.

Further, Mr Guha Ray mentions that the complainant in the case is “working on a book on the complicated matter of sexual harassment at the workplace” to be published by Harper Collins. As the complainant, I would like to clarify that I am not working on a book about office harassment, have never been contacted by Harper Collins, and that the only thing complicated about sexual harassment at the workplace is the management bending over backwards to protect abusive employers responsible for their pay cheques.

If any further evidence of Mr Guha’s bias and professional ineptitude was necessary, let me also point out that while he liberally quotes the rape accused as saying the case is “a matter of life and death for him”, he fails to even get the state prosecutor’s name right, and has never contacted me for an account of how the delay in an allegedly “fast track” and high profile rape case has affected my health or professional prospects.

A basic fact check, or a few phone calls to lawyers and editors in New Delhi would have alerted the journalist in question, as well as you to the fact that Mr Tejpal and his family have repeatedly screened sub-judice CCTV footage for anyone that asks to view it. In fact, no one except the police and Mr Tejpal’s defence even have access to this footage, so perhaps Mr Guha Ray can next train his newshound instincts to finding out how story after story defending Mr Tejpal based on this footage appeared in publications like Outlook, The Citizen and the Facebook page of Mr Anurag Kashyap.

Finally, Mr Guha would do well to remember that not only does this delay in proceedings give “some reprieve” to Mr Tejpal, but combined with his slanderous media campaign, it also affects every single witness in the case, and constantly delays the moment I can present my truth and evidence in court — a moment I have patiently waited for for over two years.

Warm regards,

XYZ

NOT IN OUR NAME : JNU faculty for a gender-just campus

We the undersigned teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University, and members of the JNU Teachers Association, hereby assert that in keeping with the best traditions of teacher politics of this university, we are committed to a gender-sensitive and gender-just university campus. This political understanding contributed to the formation of the GSCASH, and it is this politics that guides us to raise our voices AGAINST the current scenario in which:

  • Conduct of some teachers and officials does not recognise that each incident of sexual harassment results in violation of the fundamental rights of ‘gender equality’ and the ‘right of life and liberty’, wherein right to life means life with dignity.
  • University body decisions set up defendants’ representations as the benchmark against which the enquiry reports of GSCASH are to be judged, when in fact GSCASH is the sole inquiring authority into complaints of gender violence, as designated by the law of the land and the regulations of the University.
  • Confidentiality with regards to complaints enquired into by the GSCASH is blatantly violated by some teacher representatives.
  • Some teacher representatives assume that a ‘struggle for the rights of teachers’ can entail victim blaming and defamation of complainants.
  • Persons charged with (or found guilty of) sexual harassment/violence serve in statutory bodies and as teacher representatives.
  • The processes of GSCASH are perverted by some teachers’ campaigns on unfounded allegations of procedural infirmity.
  • The evaluation of a GSCASH enquiry report is done by persons not bound by the oath of confidentiality and impartiality.
  • The integrity of members of GSCASH is put on public trial in the name of guaranteeing the ‘principles of natural justice’ to defendants.

We stand FOR a campus atmosphere in which the health, and freedom of complainants is always primary and the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution ‘to carry on any occupation, trade or profession’ are realised through the provision of a “safe” working environment for all.

Ayesha Kidwai                        

Brinda Bose                            

Chirashree Dasgupta   

Chitra Harshvardhan              

G. Arunima                              

Janaki Nair                    

Madhu Sahni                           

Mohan Rao                    

Mohinder Singh

Nilika Mehrotra                        

Nivedita Menon             

Parnal Chirmuley

Pratiksha Baxi                         

Ranjani Mazumdar                  

Rohit                    

Shambhavi Prakash               

Shankari Sundararaman        

Shukla Sawant

Surajit Mazumdar                    

Tiplut Nongbri                         

Urmimala Sarkar

Vikas Bajpai                  

Jadavpur University students struggle against gender violence

In Jadavpur University (a State aided university of West Bengal), the Arts Students Faculty Union organizes a students’ cultural festival, Sanskriti. On the second night of the festival, an incident of violence occurred in the campus that resulted in a chain of events.

On the night of 28th August, during the ongoing festival, a second year student from the Department of History, Jadavpur University, was allegedly molested inside campus premises by a group of people from the hostel, and her male friend (not a JU student), was beaten up. According to the victim, she had gone near the hostel to relieve herself given the unavailability of bathrooms at the time, accompanied by her friend. On their way back, a group of hostel boys allegedly passed snide remarks which led to a scuffle, and then escalated to something bigger. While her friend was allegedly pulled away and beaten up, she was dragged into the hostel, where she claims she was molested. Continue reading Jadavpur University students struggle against gender violence

THE Tejpal WHO IS FAR MORE TEZ! :Kishore

Guest Post by Kishore

So Tejpal allegedly sexually assaulted his lady colleague in an elevator. Criminal charges have been pressed against Tejpal and it seems sooner or later the woman journalist who may not get another job any time soon will at least get justice.

About time we discuss another TEZpal. This one had also harassed a lady colleague in an elevator. That was in 2007. TEZpal after having asked the woman journalist very personal details about her boyfriend repeatedly had not understood she was “not interested”. One night while TEZpal was the shift in charge of the night shift he tried  kissing and hugging this lady colleague in the office lift.

The woman journalist had reported  the incident to her bosses. An internal investigation was done. Many other journalists were called. They asserted that  TEZpal was indeed sexist and out of line a little much too often. Some old HR exit interviews were brought out. TEZpal was asked to leave.

But, all this was done quietly. This was also an “Internal matter” you see.

Continue reading THE Tejpal WHO IS FAR MORE TEZ! :Kishore

Sexualized workplaces, predatory men and the rage of women

Listen. Can you hear it? That low growl on the horizon, coming closer, growing louder? It’s the dam bursting its bounds. It’s the quiet shriek of convivial silence being ripped apart.

The silence around the normalizing of a range of behaviour from the apparently casual to the outrightly violent. The laughing sexual innuendo; the misogynist jokes; the well-known ‘displaced squeeze’ of the upper arm, the shoulders; the repeated, relentless expression of romantic or sexual interest despite clear NO’s; the grabbing of the breast, the unwanted kiss, the out-of-town work trip ending in physical assault, presented as flattering interest; and through it all, the clear invocation of the power relationship.

You look great, Sir, retirement suits you, says a younger female colleague to a Professor visiting his former institution. Really, he smirks. Two other people told me this, and they are both women. What do you think it means? She smiles uncomfortably and hurries out of the office of the male head of the institution in whose presence this comment is made.

Continue reading Sexualized workplaces, predatory men and the rage of women