As an organization Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology (“Institute”/ “Institution”/ “Srishti Manipal”/) strongly believes in providing a safe, open, conducive & healthy work environment which is free from any form of distress or harassment. Srishti Manipal adheres to all rules of law which allow all individuals to deal and interact with each other in fairness and utmost dignity without any compromise to human values and ethics.
The Institute is completely engaged in and committed to providing a study and work environment which is free of any form of sexual harassment.
With this in mind, Srishti Manipal has formed this Policy Against Sexual Harassment; in compliance with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal), 2013 and the Rules framed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (“Act”) to prevent the occurrence and commission of any such acts of sexual harassment at the workplace which shall primarily undermine the dignity of the employee. This Policy provides details with respect to the procedure to address all such complaints and the relevant grievance redressal mechanism.
- SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY
This Policy is applicable to all students and employees of the institute, studying, pursuing academic courses and /or employed at the Main Office and at all branch/ ancillary offices of the Institute across India, as applicable. The Policy further extends protection to any Party of an outside employer who visits the workplace of the Institute, for any official and/or academic, training purposes (not limited to).
- “Aggrieved Party”/ “Complainant”: means a Party in relation to workplace whether employed or not, who alleges to have been subject to any act of sexual harassment by the Respondent.
- “Applicable Laws” means shall mean any applicable legislative enactment or statutes, declaration, decree, ordinances, rules and regulations, or any Policy or directive of or by, any governmental authority or rulings of the courts, or any license, permit, or other authorization of governmental authority under such applicable laws and conditions of such license, permit, or other authorization, in each case as in effect from time to time and shall include applicable law on or in relation to Institute’s business located in India.
- “Campus” means the location or the land on which the Institute and its related institutional facilities like libraries, laboratories, lecture halls, residences, halls, toilets, student centers, student housing including paying guest and private accommodations, dining halls, stadiums, parking areas, park like settings and other amenities like health centers, canteens, bank counters etc. are situated and also includes extended campus and covers within its scope places visited as a student of the Institute including transportation provided for the purpose of commuting to and fro from the Institute, the locations outside the Institute on field trips, internships, study tours, excursions, short-term placements, places used for camps, cultural festivals, sports meets and such other activities where a person is participating in the capacity of an employee or a Student of the Institute.
- “Employee” means a Party employed at a workplace for any work on regular, temporary, ad hoc or daily wages basis, either directly or through an agent, including a contractor, with or, without the knowledge of the principal employer, whether for remuneration or not, or working on a voluntary basis or otherwise, whether the terms of employment are express or implied and includes a co-worker, a contract worker, probationer, trainee, apprentice or called by any other such name.
- “Internal Complaints Committee”/ “Internal Committee”/ “Complaints Committee”/ “Committee”- A committee set up by the Institute as per the law and this Policy
- “Executive Authority” means the chief executive authority of the Institute, by whatever name called, in which the general administration of the Institute is vested. i.e. Director of the Institute.
- “Institute” means Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology.
- “Parties” means both the Aggrieved Party and the Complainant collectively.
- “Policy”: means Srishti Manipal Sexual Harassment Policy.
- “Respondent” means a Party against whom the aggrieved Party has made a complaint.
- “Student” means a person duly admitted at the Institute, and pursuing a programme of study either through regular mode or distance mode, including short term training programmes.
- “Third Party Harassment” means and refers to a situation where sexual harassment occurs as a result of an act or omission by any third party or outsider, who is not an employee or a student of the Institute, but a visitor to the Institute in some other capacity or for some other purpose or reason.
- Workplace (“Workplace”), means the Campus of the Institute, including
- Any department, organization, undertaking, establishment, enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit which is established owned, controlled, or wholly or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly by the Institute
- Any sports institute, stadium sports complex or competition or games venue, whether residential or not, used for training, sports or other activities
- Any place visited by the Student or Employee arising out of or during the course of study or employment, including transportation provided by the Institute for any such academic/employment purposes.
- POLICY GUIDELINES
This Policy applies to all, included but not limited to the Students, Employees, workers, interns, staff ( permanent and temporary), consultants .The Policy provides cover and protection to a Srishti Manipal student and/or employee as a result of an act of an outsider or a third party while on official duty.
- WHAT IS SEXUAL HARRASSMENT?
The Act defines “Sexual Harassment” to include any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behavior (whether directly or by implication) such as:
- Any unwelcome physical, verbal or non –verbal conduct of a sexual nature
- A demand or request for sexual favors
- Making sexually colored remarks
- Showing pornography or other offensive or derogatory pictures, cartoons, representations, graphics, pamphlets or sayings
- Physical contact and advances
The following circumstances amongst other circumstances mentioned above may constitute sexual harassment if it occurs or is present in relation or connected with any act or behavior of sexual harassment:
- Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in their academic studies and/or employment
- Implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in their academic studies and/or employment
- Implied or explicit threat about their present or future academic and/or employment status
- Interfering with their work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile study and/or work environment; humiliation treatment likely to affect their health or safety
- Humiliating treatment likely to affect the health and safety of the aggrieved Party
In addition to the instances mentioned hereinabove, any other acts or behavior, which outrages the modesty of a female student and/or employee, will be considered as sexual harassment.
The harassment may relate to a single incident or may happen over time whether directly or by implication.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment includes the following types of conduct.
- Sexually coloured language, jokes, comments, messages and songs
- Any form of profanity or obscenity (verbal or written – including through electronic media such as email, text or SMS messages, instant chat and social media posts or use of language that puts someone down on the basis of their gender or sexual orientation)
- Inappropriate physical contact, gestures, body language or signs (including inappropriate staring)
- Access to and display of pornographic content in any form (including cartoons) and on any media
- Stalking (following or repeatedly persisting in an offensive behaviour such as unwanted visits, phone calls, texts, emails, or letters, leaving presents or watching someone’s home)
- Requests for sexual favours or any other verbal, visual or physical contact of a sexual nature that prevents an individual from effectively performing the duties of their position due to the emotional and psychological distress it causes
- Any interaction of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment
- When a sexual favour of any nature is made as a condition of academic advancement, team placements, or reprieve from penalties or consequences for breach of institute rules or terms of employment, or as a condition for employment or compensation, either implicitly or explicitly (e.g., offering better grades or selection to a team or safety from consequences of breaking a institute rule or threatening to fire or punish someone if they don’t accept sexual advances)
- Any humiliating treatment likely to affect the health, safety, dignity or physical integrity of the Party concerned.
The above list is only illustrative. It is not exhaustive. Other forms of conduct could amount to sexual harassment as well if it involves any form of unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature, in case of an adult; or any sort of physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature, in case of a minor.
- REDRESSAL MECHANISM- INTERNAL COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE
As per the guidelines of the Act; Srishti Manipal has set up an Internal Complaints Committee to address all such complaints at each office and branch to hear and redress grievances pertaining to all instances and forms of sexual harassment.
The Term of office of the members of the ICC is a period of 3 years. Details of the Committee shall be published on the website.
- PROCEDURE/PROCESS TO RECORD A COMPLAINT
The Institute shall comply with all provisions of the Act in relation to Filing of complaint/Inquiry/Conciliation Process etc.
- An Aggrieved Party shall submit 6 (six) copies of the written complaint along with any and/or all supporting documentation and names and addresses of the witnesses to the Internal Committee, within 3 months of the date of the incident; and in the case of a series of incidents, within 3 months of the last incident. The Committee has the power to extend the time for further 3 months, in case there were circumstances, which prevented him/her from filing the complaint within the said 3 months. The members of the Committee shall give all reasonable assistance to the Party for making the complaint in writing, if the complaint could not be made in writing by him/her.
- The complaint shall be kept in strict confidence by the Committee to ensure that details are not shared with students and /or employees of the Institute and outsiders to the Institute.
- In the event the Aggrieved Party is not able to submit the complaint partly, due to physical/mental incapacity or death; such complaint may be submitted by the Aggrieved Party’s friends, relatives, co-workers, psychologist, psychiatrist etc.
- In all other cases, where the Aggrieved Party is unable to make a complaint, the complaint may be made by any Party who has the knowledge of the incident, with his/her written consent.
- In case the Aggrieved Party is dead, the complaint may be made by any Party who has the knowledge of the incident, with the written consent of his/her legal heir.
- The Committee shall send 1(one) copy of the complaint to the respondent within 7(seven) working days.
- The respondent shall file his/her reply to the complaint in writing within 10(ten) working days from the date of receipt of the complaint, along with a list of documents and names and addresses of witnesses to substantiate his/her case. In the event further information and/or documentation is required from the Parties, the same shall be provided to the Committee.
- The Complaint Committee shall have the right to terminate the enquiry or give ex-parte decision on the complaint, if the Complainant remains absent for 3 consecutive hearings, without sufficient cause.
- The Committee shall ensure that a fair and just inquiry/investigation is undertaken and all such investigation is based on the principles of natural justice.
- Both Parties will be given reasonable opportunity to present their facts and explanations.
- For conducting the enquiry the quorum of the Complaints Committee shall be of 3 members including the presiding officer.
- Copies of the findings shall be provided by the Committee to the aggrieved Party and respondent, enabling them to make fair representations before the Committee.
- The Committee shall complete the inquiry within 90 days from receipt of the complaint and send a report to the Director/ Executive Authority of the Institute, within 10 days of the completion of inquiry and to the concerned parties.
- The Institute shall initiate necessary action on the recommendations of the Committee within 30 days from the date of receipt of the Inquiry Report. Any appeal by either Party, against the decision of the Committee is allowed within 30 days of the date of the Committee recommendations.
- No action shall be taken if the allegation against the respondent has not been proven.
- If the Director/ Executive Authority decides not to act as per the recommendations of the Committee, it shall record written reasons for the same to be conveyed to the Committee and both Parties to the proceedings. If the Executive Authority/ Director, decides to act on the recommendations of the Committee, then a show cause notice answerable within 10 days shall be served on the Party, against whom the action is decided to be taken. The Executive Authority/ Director shall proceed only after considering the reply or hearing of the Aggrieved Party.
Settlement through Conciliation:
An Aggrieved Party may also request the Committee to settle the matter between him/her and the respondent through conciliation. Monetary settlement is prohibited. The procedure is as follows:
- The Committee shall record the settlement arrived at and forward the same to the Partners of the Institute for taking requisite and appropriate action.
- Copies of the settlement should also be provided to the Aggrieved Party and the respondent.
- No further inquiry shall be conducted by the Committee.
- Resolution through conciliation takes place within 2 weeks of receipt of the Complaint.
- INTERIM RELIEF TO AGGRIEVED PARTY DURING PENDENCY OF COMPLAINT
An Aggrieved Party can ask the Committee to provide the following relief measures during the pendency of the inquiry proceedings:
- Transfer the Aggrieved Party or the respondent to another section or department, or workplace, to minimize the risks in contact or interaction, if such a recommendation is made by the Committee
- Grant leave to the Aggrieved Party up to a period of 3 months, in addition to her regular statutory /contractual leave entitlement, with full protection of status and benefits
- Restraining the respondent from reporting on or evaluating the academic and /or work performance or tests or examination of the Aggrieved Party
- Ensure that offenders are warned to keep a distance from the Aggrieved Party and wherever necessary, if there is a definite threat, restrain their entry into the campus.
- Take strict measures to provide a conducive environment of safety and protection to the complainant against retaliation and victimization as a consequence of making a complaint of sexual harassment
- DISCIPLINARY ACTION IN CASE OF A FALSE COMPLAINT
In the event the Committee were to find any form of misconduct by either or both Parties, with respect to a “false/malicious and/or frivolous complaint” appropriate and strict disciplinary action shall be taken by the Committee against the accused. Such disciplinary action may include suspension from the Institute, dismissal of service, transfer, demotion, withholding of promotion etc. The Complainant shall be entitled to seek any other legal recourse available to them under law in addition to the above.
Any witness who has rendered false/misleading testimony (either oral and/or written) shall be subject to the same disciplinary action stipulated above.
While deciding malicious intent, the Committee shall consider that mere inability to substantiate a complaint need not mean malicious intent. Malicious intent needs to be clearly established through a separate inquiry.
Recognizing the sensitivity attached to such matters, all information, including but not limited to the contents of the complaint, the identity and address of the Aggrieved Party, respondent and witness and any information relating to conciliation and inquiry proceedings, recommendations of the Internal Committee and the action taken by the Institute shall be kept in strict confidence. Any Party who breaches confidentiality shall be subject to disciplinary action by the Committee, as prescribed in the Act.
- PUNISHMENT and COMPENSATION
The Act prescribes the below penalties to be imposed for engaging in an act of sexual harassment. In the event the allegation is proven by the Complainant, the below penalties will apply as appropriate and shall be recommended by the Committee:
If the respondent is a Student; depending upon the severity of the offence, the Institute may:-
- Withhold privileges of the Student, such as access to the library, auditoria, halls of residence, transportation, scholarships, allowances and identity card
- Suspend or restrict entry into the Campus for a specific period
- Expel and strike off name from the rolls of the Institute, including denial of readmission, if the offence so warrants
- Award reformative punishments like mandatory counselling and /or performance of community services
If the respondent / offender is an Employee, as per the Rules of the Institute; it may include, but not be limited to the below;
- Action including written apology warning, reprimand, censure, withholding of promotion, withholding of pay rise or increments, terminating the accused from the Institute/ service, counselling sessions to be undergone by the accused or carrying out community service
- Deduction of compensation/wages/salary payable to the Aggrieved Party from the salary/wages of the accused.
The Aggrieved Party is entitled to payment of compensation. The Institute shall issue direction for payment of compensation recommended by the Committee, which shall be recovered from the offender. The compensation payable shall be determined on the basis of:
- Mental trauma, pain, suffering and emotional distress caused
- Loss in academic and /or career opportunity due to the incident of Sexual Harassment
- Medical expenses incurred by the victim for physical or psychiatric treatment
- The income and financial status and feasibility of payment options
- Feasibility of such payment in lump sum or in instalments
- Such action and compensation shall be concluded within 60 days of receipt of the Inquiry Report from the Committee
The compensation to be paid to the Aggrieved Party shall be payable from the salary/wages of the Accused in the case of the Accused being an Employee.
- All the Students, Employees, Agents, Customers, Vendors, Partners and Visitors shall have access to this Policy at any given point of time and clarification related to this Policy shall be addressed by the Institute.
- Further, all Students and Employees shall be briefed about the existence and terms and features of this Policy during their initial Induction, as well as provided with a copy of the Policy. They shall be required to sign a statement declaring that they have understood and read the Policy and shall strictly adhere by the Policy. Also, any Student and Employee at any point of time can seek clarity and any information required with respect to the Policy from the Dean of Students.
- The decision of the Committee on any matter within its competence shall be considered final, and no appeal / challenge to the same shall lie to any Party / body in the Institute.
- In case of sexual harassment of any Student and /or woman employee by a Party who is not an Employee of the Institute, the Institute shall take all steps necessary and reasonable to assist the affected Student and/or woman employee in terms of providing her with psychological, emotional and physical support and enabling her to make a complaint with the Internal Complaints Committee at the workplace of the concerned Party or take the required recourse as per the Applicable law.
- The Institute shall comply with all provisions as stipulated under Section 19 of the Act to ensure a safe working environment to all students and employees. This Section 19 of the Act also stipulates for the Institute to “provide assistance to the woman if she so chooses to file a complaint in relation to the offence under the Indian Penal Code (“IPC”) or any other law for the time being in force”. Annexure “A” reflects provisions of Section 19 of the Act. Annexure “B” reflects the provisions with regard to Punishment for Sexual Harassment under the IPC.
- The Institute reserves the right to amend any of the clauses of the Policy subject to such amendment being in compliance with the Act.
- The Institute reserves the right to revamp/reconstitute the Internal Complaints Committee from time-to –time if it feels it necessary according to the Applicable Law. .
Section 19 of the Act- DUTIES OF EMPLOYER
Every employer shall—
a. Provide a safe working environment at the workplace which shall include safety from the persons coming into contact at the workplace
b. Display at any conspicuous place in the workplace, the penal consequences of sexual harassments; and the order constituting, the Internal Committee under subsection (I) of Section 4
c. Organise workshops and awareness programmes at regular intervals for sensitising the employees with the provisions of the Act and orientation programmes for the members of the Internal Committee in the manner as may be prescribed
d. Provide necessary facilities to the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, for dealing with the complaint and conducting an inquiry
e. Assist in securing the attendance of respondent and witnesses before the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be
f. Make available such information to the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, as it may require having regard to the complaint made under sub-section (1) of Section 9 of the Act
g. Provide assistance to the woman if she so chooses to file a complaint in relation to the offence under the Indian Penal Code or any other law for the time being in force
h. Cause to initiate action, under the Indian Penal Code or any other law for the time being in force, against the perpetrator, or if the aggrieved woman so desires, where the perpetrator is not an employee, in the workplace at which the incident of sexual harassment took place
i. Treat sexual harassment as misconduct under the service rules and initiate action for such misconduct
j. Monitor the timely submission of reports by the Internal Committee
Section of the Indian Penal Code- Sexual Harassment and Punishment for Sexual Harassment
Under the Indian Penal Code, the newly introduced Section (S. 354A) which deals with Sexual Harassment has made this a ‘cognizable offense’ i.e. a person charged with Sexual Harassment may be arrested without a warrant.
- A man committing any of the following acts:
- physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures; or
- a demand or request for sexual favours; or
- showing pornography against the will of a woman; or
- making sexually colored remarks, shall be guilty of the offence of sexual harassment.
- Any man who commits the offence specified in clause (i) or clause (ii) or clause (iii) above, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
- Any man who commits the offence specified in clause (iv) above shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
In addition to Section 354A set out above, acts of Sexual Harassment may also constitute other offenses under IPC including Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), Section 354C (Voyeurism), Section 354D (Stalking), Section 375 and 376 (Rape) and Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).