The professor had moved Madras High Court after the Madras Christian College’s Internal Complaints Committee found him guilty of sexual harassment.

HC bars Chennai prof accused of sexual harassment from entering college premises
news Sexual Harassment Friday, June 28, 2019 - 08:55

The Madras High Court has forbidden a Chennai professor accused of sexual harassment from entering the college premises until further orders. According to reports, the order came after the institution, Madras Christian College, where the professor worked, filed a submission in the court stating that the professor was trying to create trouble in the college after allegations against him surfaced. The college has also reportedly informed the court that though there are serious allegations of misbehaviour against the professor, the college is willing to pay him salary without him working.

Justice S Vaidyanathan of the Madras High Court stated that if the court finds that the allegations against the professor are baseless, then the period of his absence should be treated as ‘on-duty’. The order came after the accused professor Samuel Tennyson moved the court seeking the findings of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the college and also to quash the second show cause notice issued against him.

The ICC, in its report which was submitted to the college’s Board of Directors, stated, “...it is the unanimous finding of the committee that the actions of the respondents, Dr Raveen and Dr Tennyson did constitute sexual harassment by creating a hostile work/study environment that resulted in gender discrimination against complainants.”

Students from the Zoology department in Madras Christian College accused two of their professors – R Raveen and Samuel Tennyson – of sexual harassment during their college trip. The two professors had allegedly sexually harassed many women students during a trip to Kerala which took place in February. From passing lewd comments to touching the women inappropriately, the students levelled a series of complaints against the two men.

Following this, the students filed an anonymous complaint to the Head of the Department which was allegedly ignored. The students then wrote a formal complaint to the HoD with their signatures after which an inquiry was conducted. When the HoD attempted to let the professors off with just a warning, the students staged protests, seeking stringent action against the erring teachers. As the news of students’ protests came out, many former students from the same department shared similar instances of sexual harassment against one of the two professors. The college then set up an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) in the college and began a formal inquiry into the students’ complaints. The ICC then found Professor Samuel Tennyson guilty of sexual harassment. 

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