The National Commission for Women (NCW) has written to the provincial chairman of Loyola College to look into an issue of sexual harassment of women and ensure compliance with the orders of the Madras High Court following a media report.
NCW has asked the college to inform them about the action taken in the matter at the earliest, OpIndia reported, citing its 19 May report where it called the struggle a 13-year-long battle of an ex-lecturer of Loyola College, Chennai, against her sexual predators who are being protected by the college administration.
NCW chairman Rekha Sharma writes to Rev Dr Jabemalai Irudayaraja
Highlighting the case, the statutory body, NCW wrote to Loyola College, Chennai, that it was flustered at the ignorance and the violation of rights of a woman to live her life with dignity and not complying with the orders passed in favour of Josephine amounted to contempt of court.
The NCW urged Rev Dr Jabemalai Irudayaraja, SJ, the Chairman Provincial, Loyola College, to ensure that the long-stalled justice to Josephine is served at the earliest.
Josephine Jeyashanthi, a former lecturer in the college’s Tamil department, was unjustly relieved of her duties without being paid her dues because she stood up against the alleged sexual harassment she was subjected to by her superiors and fought against a powerful system hell-bent on shielding a group of sexual predators on campus.
It has been 13 years for which Josephine has been fighting with the mighty administration of the ‘prestigious’ Loyola College, Chennai. Despite the Madras High Court’s verdict in her favour in 2019, the college did nothing to punish her sexual predators nor has it bothered to pay Josephine her back wages running in lakhs or follow the HC order to get her mandamus for compensation of Rs 59 lakhs.
List of offences committed by Loyola College in Josephine Jeyashanthi’s case
- The internal complaints body only took cognisance of Josephine’s accusation in December 2012. (The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redress) Act 2013 states that an investigation into the complaint must be completed within 90 days).
- The Vishaka Guideline mandates that the grievance be addressed in a time-bound manner. However, it took 8 months to ‘censure’ the accused. Also, it took the college 6 years to submit the report to the court.
- The then Secretary Rev Fr M Albert Williams SJ and the then Principal Rev Fr G Joseph Antonysamy SJ lied to the police.
- Most importantly, the prime accused Antony Rajarajan was not only protected by the Loyola College management but was also given privileges like superannuation with salary, while the victim was further victimised and terminated from the job without any sort of explanation and without even settling payments.
I want to see these criminals behind bars: Josephine Jeyashanthi
“The College Management claims that they followed ‘due process’. What is due process? Is keeping the victim of sexual harassment in dark about the whole proceedings due process? Is keeping the victim unaware of the punishment given to the offender due process? Is not giving any assurance of protection to the victim from such an offender due process?, said Josephine, adding that the accused, Rajarajan, who committed the heinous crime was not only protected by the management but also projected as flawless in the society, while she, who was victimised all throughout, was projected as the bigger offender.
“This resulted in the loss of career opportunities for me over these years. Even after terminating me, the management made deliberate attempts to malign my name among staff and the student community”, lamented Josephine, adding: “I want to see these criminals behind bars, I will drag them to court. They’ve been exploiting ladies like me for years. Many victims before me, and even after me, lacked the confidence to stand up to the big fishes. So many such cases are lying pending in the Madras High Court. Someone has to show these criminals their place.”