JNU reply sought in case of sexual harassment by professor
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to file a reply on a plea seeking early hearing on a contempt petition filed against the varsity and Professor Atul Johri, who is accused of sexual harassment.
Justice J. R. Midha also asked the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Atul Johri and Delhi Police to file a reply on the plea of several women students seeking early hearing on a contempt petition.
The court has listed the matter for its next hearing on July 2.
On May 3, the court had listed the contempt petition, as well as the one challenging the clean chit given to Johri in the matter by the JNU committee.
The women students had filed the contempt petition alleging that JNU disobeyed the earlier directions of the High Court given in its orders of May 29 and May 2, 2018.
On May 29, 2018, the court had directed the committee to take a decision on Johri’s suspension after examining the material on record and ordered that the professor would have no access to Laboratory No. 409 of the Department of Life Sciences.
It also directed that the professor should not take charge as warden of any women’s hostel on the JNU campus.
However, the petitioners claimed that on the request of Johri, the JNU, in February, allowed him access to the laboratory in the School of Life Sciences.
The court direction came while hearing a petition seeking quashing and setting aside of the report prepared by the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the JNU.
The ICC has given a clean chit to the professor, saying that he poses no threat to the complainants and, instead, was facing threats from the latter.
On March 16, 2018, Delhi Police had registered only one FIR in the case based on nine complaints. Subsequently, they registered eight other FIRs against Johri on the separate complaints of nine students, who alleged that he had sexually harassed them in a laboratory of the Department of Life Sciences.