The Delhi High Court Tuesday directed Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Atul Kumar Johri, accused of sexually harassing eight women students, not to take charge as warden of any women’s hostel on the campus. The court said it has “no hesitation in holding that in view of law, JNU is duty-bound to provide a safe working environment to the complainants, even if they do not take recourse to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) to seek redressal”.
The court said Johri will not be part of any administrative committee and will not visit or use laboratory number 409. “Respondent number 4 (Johri) shall be given, if necessary, a separate laboratory to conduct his work. He shall have no contact whatsoever with petitioners/complainants or any potential witnesses. In case of any infraction, the V-C will consider removal of Johri from the campus,” said Justice Rajiv Shakdher. The judge indicated that the ICC, which is seized of the issue against the professor, will decided the case in three weeks.
The court fixed the matter for August 17, to see if its directions have been complied with or not. The court’s directions were issued on pleas by several women students seeking Johri’s suspension and removal from the JNU campus. Eight FIRs have been lodged against Johri, alleging sexual harassment.