JNU administration declares GSCASH election illegal
New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration on Tuesday warned its students against holding GSCASH elections. A group of students have decided to hold election on Wednesday for the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) despite the university order issued earlier telling them not to do so.
The decision to replace GSCASH with Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) was taken during the 269th Executive Council meeting held on September 18. The administration will hold election for student representatives, to be part of ICC, on September 29.
"This is to sensitise the entire JNU community that some students with the support of JNUSU are moving ahead with holding elections to non-existing GSCASH," a circular from the varsity Registrar read.
"There will be no parallel institution on sexual harassment cases in the same campus. The JNU administration hereby alerts the JNU community that efforts are being made to hold illegal elections to a non-existing body," it added.
A considerable section of students is opposed to the move of replacing GSCASH with ICC, mandated by the University Grants Commission, mainly because of the difference in both committees' constitution alleging a likelihood of its acting prejudicially.
Unlike GSCASH -- all members of which are elected -- the ICC would consist of nominated members along with the elected members. Both the committees include teachers and students as members.
In a press statement, JNUTA said, "if even a protest by ballot can attract administrative ire to this extent, how can a complainant or respondent ever question the ICC or insist upon principles of natural justice from it? The message from most, if not roughly about four thousand women students on the JNU campus is a resounding non-confidence — which is why the ICC student representatives are today only "found elected" (sic), as no student barring three, were interested in contesting that election at all.
"The 'non-existing GSCASH' election, on the other hand, is being keenly contested and debated. By intimidation and threats of disciplinary action, JNU is merely being exactly the kind of institution that every single judgment, law, or regulation on sexual harassment since Vishaka has enjoined institutions not to be," it added.