As per a new regulation passed by the University Grants Commission (UGC), male students can now file cases of sexual harassment against men, women and transgenders.
The UGC (Prevention, prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment of women employees and students in higher educational institutions) Regulations notified this month says that sexual harassment is gender neutral and institutions should take action on complaints of employees and students of all sexes.
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According to a UGC official, instances of male students being harassed has come to its notice in the recent years. A sexual harassment complaint was filed by two male students against a teacher of Ramjas College under Delhi University in 2007.
The regulation has also notified a provision for third-party complaints in sexual harassment cases. So relatives, friends, colleagues, or any other person associated with the victim can lodge a complaint on his/her behalf if the person is unable to do so because of “physical or mental incapacity or death”.
The complaint will have to be filed within three months of the offence, with an exception of extraordinary situations like illness etc. Every institute has been directed to set up an internal complaints committee to investigate such cases, which will be required to finish the probe within 90 days.
Found guilty, a student can be rusticated while an employee or a teacher will have to face action according to service rules. People filing false complaints will have to face a penalty.