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Fee ¢ fer vs centers aeart Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute Crectot SR ET BAT ATT WaT Te ate IT An Academic Institution of Ministry of I & B, Govt. of India DO No: 43029/27/Dir/19-20/ Dated: 09.05.2019 Dear Ms Bhattacheryya, Thank you for your email dated May 7, 2019. It is truly heartening that instead of accepting the verification straightaway, you have chosen to seek my response to the allegations made both by the student complainant of sexual harassment and WASH against me. Before I deal with the allegations contained in your mail one by ‘one, I would like to express utter shock and surprise at the irresponsible manner in which the student concemed and WASH themselves have contravened Section 16 of the Act to reach the press with details of the case. I strongly dismiss the allegation that I had conducted a faculty meeting after receiving the particular complaint of sexual harassment, as mischievous, motivated and aimed at maligning me and the office of the Director. Please be informed that the complaint was not submitted to me. The complainant sent the complaint to the President of the student body, presumably for onward transmission to the ICC. In fact, the aggrieved ‘woman was not required to and she has not submitted her complaint to the Director. Sub-section (1) of Sec 9 of the Act, inter-alia, states that any aggrieved women may make, in writing, a complaint of Sexual Harassment at workplace to the Internal Complaint Committee (ICC). Therefore, I could have no business to interfere when I received a copy of the complaint, not from the complainant or the student body but from the Proctor. There could, therefore, be no sensible reason why I should have held a meeting with the faculty on this issue. Ifany professor had taken any initiative to reconcile, he did so without my knowledge. In terms of Section 10 of the Act the power to contemplate rests with the ICC and that too only at the request of the aggrieved woman. The professor who is a gentleman may not have been aware of the said provisions of the Act while talking to a student of his own department. While | am not aware of the source from which or from whom the concemed professor had gathered information about the complaint or why at all he tried to reconcile, I think the effort of the Professor was in good spirit and there was no bad intentions. The complainant is a student of the Professor in the Animation Cinema Department. Itis also necessary to mention that even if | had discussed the issue with my faculty colleagues, there would have been no violation of Sec 16, as alleged. Section 16 of the Act prohibits disclosure of information related to the Identity of the complainant, of the accused and other details to the public, press and media only. As already stated, the complainant should have submitted the complaint directly to the ICC. She did not submit the complaint to me either. Instead, the complainant had sent it to the President of the students’ body. ‘Thus, there can be no question of delay at my end. Itis correct that the accused is available in the campus during office hours on working days. This institute is a single unit establishment and, therefore, the accused could not be transferred to any other station. Secondly, and most importantly, the Internal Complains Committee did not make any recommendation either for transfer of the accused or grant of leave to the complainant as required under Section 12 (1) of the Act. Even then, I had the accused transferred from the animation department to the Tutorial Section in a separate building, 3.0m, agave Ue, Wie: Gaya, HreTHTA - 700 094 FETT (ta): 91-33-2432-8355, 2432-8356, 2432-9300 (] tat : 91-33- 2432-0723 E.M. Bypass Road, P.O.- Panchasayar, Kolkata-700 094 Phone : 91-33-2432-8355, 2432-8356, 2432-9300 [] Fax : 91-33- 2432-0723 E-mail :director@srfti.ac.in (J Website : www.srfti.gov.in Suspension is not so simple and easy as the allegation suggests. Suspending an employee on the basis of @ complaint would have been irresponsible, reckless and would have invited caustic strictures from the honorable courts of law. As per the allegation the complainant had to go through two cycles of investigations. It is clarified that being a fully funded Government of India institution we are bound by the government of India instructions and guidelines. The Department of Personal and Training, Government of India, by Office Memorandum Number : F. No ~ 11013/2/2014-Estt (A) dated July 16 , 2015 issued exhaustive instructions which include initiation of department proceedings as per the extant rules once the reports from the ICC after investigation is received. The rules for the time being in force provide that the ICC shall again be the Inquiring authority in the departmental inquiry. The proceedings in the cases need to be conducted having regards to the provisions of the constitution of India and principle of natural Justice. Hence two cycles, as you mentioned, cannot be avoided. ‘The tenure of the erstwhile ICC ended on January 20, 2019. The new ICC was formed by an order dated January 21, 2019. The Complaint was forwarded to the erstwhile ICC by the President of the Students’ Body nd the said committee conducted a preliminary inquiry and submitted a report. The Registrar of the Institute being the disciplinary authority for the accused had framed charges based on the recommendations made by the erstwhile ICC in its preliminary report. The New ICC was appointed as the Inquiring Authority in the departmental enquiry in terms of the proviso to sub-rule (2) of Rule 14 of the CCS (CCA) rules 1965. With regard to the allegations on lack of safety and security of the students it is informed that there is no case of any cognizable incident threatening the safety of any student. There are some stray incidents where the students while celebrating some festival got drunk and fought amongst themselves. As Head of the Institution, I have always been over sensitive about the safety of my students. It is for the First time since the institute was established: the boys” and the girls” hostel have been segregated against strong protests from both the groups. With reference to the allegation that an award winning NGO worker who was the former external member of the old ICC was removed and replaced, | invite your attention to sub section(3) of Section 4 of the Act that states that the Presiding Officer and every member of the Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) shall hold office for a period not exceeding three years from the date of their nomination or as may be specified by the employer. The award winning NGO worker referred to completed her three year’s term on Jan 20, 2019. Hence, the allegation is baseless, frivolous and malicious. It is to be mentioned in this connection that this, external member had during her tenure, tendered resignation on her own. However the resignation was not accepted and she continued tll the end of her tenure. Thope all your queries have been addressed. It is now up to you, as a responsible journalist, to analyze and assess the merit of the allegations. The Institute needs support from responsible press. Regards ye; eo (Dr. Debamitra Mitra)