Internal Complaints Committee

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Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at NIT Trichy was set up in accordance to the specifications of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act in 2013. The Act aims to provide legal recourse to women subject to sexual harassment in the Institutions that employ them. Employers are obliged to maintain a work environment that actively discourages such harassment. Under the Act, it is made compulsory for all public and private employers to set up a committee to accept, and conduct inquiries into, complaints by female employees.

How does one file a complaint with the ICC and what happens once the complaint is filed?

The written complaint is to be filed with any of the ICC members. If not, the complaint can be addressed to the Director, or Dean Students’ Welfare or the HoD, which will be then forwarded to the ICC. Being confidential, the complaint is sealed and handed over to a member of the ICC.

Firstly, the complaint will be analyzed by ICC members to verify whether it is a case of sexual harassment. If not, ICC is not empowered to deal with it. ICC meetings with the committee members should take place within 2 days of receiving the complaint. The meetings will be video-graphed and the minutes of the meeting are drafted. An enquiry will be conducted with both the complainant and the respondent.

The Sexual Harassment Act norms dictate that one should not come to a conclusion immediately. Both parties are allowed to present their perspectives and an inquiry is conducted with a minimum of 3 sittings to find the truth. For example, if a girl lodges a complaint against a male member (student, faculty, non-teaching staff etc) an inquiry is first held for the complainant, after which the respondent is allowed to defend himself. If the respondent denies the allegations, then both the parties are given a chance to produce a witness. Finally based on the information, the committee submits a report with its recommendations. The ICC is only empowered to give recommendations, which can range from a warning to termination.

The severity of the recommendation in the case of sexual harassment does not depend on the action, but rather on how it is perceived by the victim. The person who has lodged the complaint is always consulted before making any recommendations.

The ICC can only take up cases of sexual harassment which happen within the campus. If the respondent is not a member of this campus, such cases are generally reported to the police.

For more information on ICC, check out the interview conducted by feeds:

https://feedsnitt.com/2019/02/19/interview-with-the-icc/

The ICC at NIT Trichy can be reached at their helpline number 9486001150 or by emailing to womencell@nitt.edu.