Harassment-accused JNU professor not in-charge of any girl hostel: HC told

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New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that varsity professor accused of sexually harassing women students, had resigned from administrative work and did not hold any post of the warden of any hostel or member of any committee.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher then passed the direction that Professor Atul Kumar Johri should not take charge as warden of any women hostel in the university campus, and he should not interact with the students.

To provide a safe working environment to the petitioner students, the court asked the professor not to visit laboratory no. 409 of the Department of Life Sciences where the students work.

Justice Shakdher also questioned the absence of women members in a fact-finding committee and asked the varsity to include female members in the committee as the women students could depose comfortably.

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The court said the university will consider the advisability of sending Johri on leave and this decision can be taken by the varsity after the fact-finding committee, set up by JNU, gives its findings.

The court was hearing a petition filed by several women students seeking suspension of the professor, against whom eight FIRs have been lodged alleging sexual harassment, and to restrain him from entering the campus.

Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for women students, said 79 more students have given a letter to police that they do not feel safe and were living in a fearful atmosphere as the professor continued to visit the Department of Life Sciences.

Professors’ counsel however claimed that that the FIRs against him were motivated.

The court has listed the matter for May 23 for further hearing.

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On March 16, the police had registered only one FIR based on nine complaints. Later, they registered eight FIRs against Johri on separate complaints of nine students, who alleged that he sexually harassed them in a lab of the School of Life Sciences.

–IANS

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