Teachers hit out at college for making student ‘theft’ public

The move has generated criticism from a section of the faculty for “naming and shaming” the student.

Written by Aranya Shankar | Delhi | Published: January 13, 2016 2:33:21 am

Delhi University’s Dyal Singh College has made public a notice suspending a student, after it found her guilty of theft.

The notice, which has been pasted on the college notice board and uploaded on the website, also serves as a showcause notice to the girl, asking her why she should not be “rusticated”. The girl has reportedly submitted her response.

The move has generated criticism from a section of the faculty for “naming and shaming” the student.

One faculty member has even written a letter to vice principal Alka Gupta, who has signed the notice, saying such a move could have have negative consequences.

The decision was taken by the college’s disciplinary committee in the presence of the teacher-in-charge of various departments and independent of police interference.

The notice mentions the full name, course and roll number of the student.

“Ms (student) of (roll no) is suspended from college for her involvement in case of theft of a mobile phone on recommendation of disciplinary committee of the college. She is requested to give proper explanation as to why she should not be rusticated from college, latest by 11th January 2016 to the undersigned, failing which she will be rusticated from the college,” reads the notice.

College Principal I S Bakshi said the girl had confessed to the crime after evidence was found against her.

“This action was taken only by the disciplinary committee and the decision to make it public was also theirs. She was caught on the basis of CCTV footage after which she confessed to the crime,” he said.

The vice principal said the girl had submitted her response to the disciplinary committee but final action was still pending.

“The next meeting of the committee hasn’t been fixed yet but they will decide what has to be done. She has not been rusticated yet,” she said.
Some teachers have come out in support of the girl.

Sachin N, an assistant professor from the English Department, has written a letter to the vice principal.

“The notice, and I believe the intent of the committee as well as yours, would be to reform the student by getting a formal written response/assurance from her and not to criminalise or damage the future of a young person. Unfortunately, it comes out as a very insensitive document on the part of the committee and may cause many negative consequences for all concerned,” he wrote.

“This kind of naming and shaming is most unfortunate. Anyone can take screenshots of the notice and malign the girl in the future. We have had similar incidents in the past where the name of some accused non-teaching staff was made public and he committed suicide three months later,” he told The Indian Express.
A K Bhagi, a professor from the Chemistry department, said, “The college administration needs to be highly sensitive about such issues. Their act to investigate the theft case themselves and not forward the complaint to the police is unwarranted. The police should deal with theft cases.”

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