The Delhi High Court has asked Delhi Police to file a status report in the alleged assault and wrongful confinement of a lawyer at the JNU administrative block by members of the university’s Internal Complaints Committee.
The alleged incident took place on November 6 when the lawyer, Veeraragavan Nandakumar, had gone to collect the ICC report on a sexual harassment case filed by his friend against a professor of the School of Social Sciences.
The complainant had authorised Nandakumar to do so, as she resides abroad.
In his petition submitted to the HC on November 14, Nandakumar, through his advocate Dibyanshu Pandey, said he was “hounded, abducted, assaulted and wrongfully confined” by ICC officials, including presiding officer Vibha Tandon. He said that despite repeated complaints, police had not yet registered an FIR.
“When the petitioner went to ICC office to collect the report, JNU officials, including ICC members, blatantly refused to give the report and then assaulted the petitioner, abducted him, wrongfully confined him inside administrative block, and tried to snatch petitioner’s mobile phone to destroy electronic evidences, which are conclusive in nature,” the petition read.
The lawyer’s friend had registered a sexual harassment case against the professor on April 12 this year, and registered an FIR the following day. On May 10, she had to travel abroad and authorised Nandakumar “to collect any document from ICC office on her behalf”.
On November 5, Tandon sent an email to the complainant containing “only the recommendations of the ICC” and wrote to her to “collect the report as soon as possible, either in person or through someone who has duly signed authorisation letter”. But when Nandakumar went to JNU, ICC members allegedly “refused to give the report and also refused to give the denial in writing”, the petition stated.
The petition said that ICC members “assaulted the petitioner and hit him on the back of his head multiple times”, that his “arms were twisted behind his back” while “all other people kicked him with their knees on the bed”. They “lifted the petitioner by holding the belt of his pant, dragged, pushed and took him to a room in the administrative block”, the petition said.
“In order to save himself from being beaten and being implicated in a false molestation case, the petitioner switched on his mobile video camera and informed the respondents that video was streaming live on YouTube,” it read.
On November 20, Justice Mukta Gupta passed an order in the matter, which read, “Learned Standing Counsel for the State accepts notice. Status report be filed. In the meantime, the State will ensure that CCTV footage of November 6 are preserved, if not already deleted.”
Tandon could not be reached for a comment.