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Posh policy

  1. Policy Statement

    The BITS Law School prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct, which includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and other forms of sexual misconduct. Such conduct seriously undermines the atmosphere of trust and respect that is essential to a healthy work and academic environment. In case of sexual misconduct, the BITS Law School will take appropriate action against those responsible and act to prevent its recurrence. In this regard, we have developed this comprehensive policy, along with accompanying procedures for institutional disciplinary action.

    These policies apply to all members of the BITS Law School community. These policies also apply to conduct on and off-campus activities.

  2. Policy Violations

    I. Sexual Harassment

    Sexual harassment is discriminatory, unlawful, and will not be tolerated at the BITS Law School. It may involve the behavior of a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, and occurs when such behavior constitutes unwelcome conduct of sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:

    a. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic status;
    b. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individuals;
    c. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for working, learning, or living on campus.

    II. Definition of sexual harassment

    Sexual harassment includes such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) as :

    a. physical contact and advances;
    b. a demand or request for sexual favors;
    c. sexually coloured remarks;
    d. showing pornography;
    e. any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature

    Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature when it meets any of the following:

    a. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic status;
    b. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individuals;
    c. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for working, learning, or living on campus. Sexual harassment can occur between any individuals associated with BITS Law School, e.g., an employee and a supervisor; co-workers; faculty members; a faculty, staff member, or student and a customer, vendor, or contractor; students; or a student and a faculty member

    III. Types of sexual harassment

    a. Quid Pro Quo: It assumes a power differential. It occurs when an employee or student is subject to unwelcome sexual behavior or advances, and submission is made a condition of hiring, advancement, admission, or evaluation in the work or academic setting. It can occur whether a person resists and suffers the threatened harm, or the person submits and avoids the threatened harm.

    b. Hostile Environment: Hostile environment occurs when unwelcome sexual behavior unreasonably interferes with an individual’s performance or creates an intimidating and hostile working environment. A hostile environment can be created by persistent or pervasive conduct or by a single severe episode. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment.

    c. Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is any kind of non-consensual sexual contact, including rape, groping, or any other form of non-consensual sexual touching.

    IV. Examples of sexual harassment

    Examples of the kinds of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

    a. Unwelcome sexual propositions, invitations, solicitations, and flirtations;
    b. Threats or insinuations that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of employment, work status, promotion, grades, or letters of recommendation;
    c. Direct propositions of a sexual nature and/or subtle pressure for sexual activity that is unwanted and unreasonably interferes with a person’s work or academic environment;
    d. A pattern of conduct that unreasonably interferes with the work or academic environment (not legitimately related to the subject matter of a course) including:

    i. Unwelcome verbal expressions of a sexual nature, including graphic sexual commentaries about a person's body, dress, appearance, or sexual activities; the unwelcome use of sexually degrading language, jokes or innuendoes; unwelcome suggestive or insulting sounds or whistles; obscene phone calls
    ii. Sexually suggestive objects, pictures, videotapes, audio recordings, computer communications, or literature placed in the work or study area that may embarrass or offend individuals
    iii. Unwelcome and inappropriate touching, patting, pinching, or obscene gestures
    iv. Inquiries and commentaries about sexual activity, experience, or orientation

    Policy on Faculty-Student Consensual Relations

    The faculty bears authority and accountability as a mentor, educator, and evaluator. The power differential in the faculty-student relationship can make the student vulnerable and put him/her under the threat of coercion. Further, such a relationship can interfere with the learning and personal development of the student.

    Therefore, no employee (teaching or non teaching, full-time or part-time) will have any sexual or romantic relationship with an enrolled student of BITS Law School, irrespective of whether they are supervising such a student or not. There will be zero tolerance towards any non-academic relation between students and teaching or non-teaching staff of BITS Law School. 

    *This policy also applies to sexual/romantic relationships between academic associates and students

    Violation of the above policies might lead to disciplinary action. For purposes of this policy, ‘direct supervision’ includes:
    a. Course teaching
    b. Evaluating
    c. Examination proctoring
    d. Advising on projects taken as a part of degree requirements
    e. Recommending in an institutional capacity for employment, fellowships, or awards


    No individual shall be subject to restraints, interference, coercion or reprisal for making a complaint regarding sexual harassment, or for serving as a witness or a panel member in the investigation of a sexual harassment/sexual assault grievance. Acts of retaliation are a violation of this policy and will be penalized.

    Malicious & False Accusations

    False allegations occur when individuals knowingly and recklessly make untrue allegations of sexual harassment. They are not the same as situations of not finding the occurrence of sexual harassment. A grievant whose allegations are found to be both false and brought with malicious intent will be heavily penalized.

    How do I know if my Behavior is Sexual and/or Unwanted?

    Many faculty, staff, and students have difficulty in identifying whether their behavior is sexual or unwanted. Please note that sexual harassment need not be intentional. The intent of the person who is alleged to have behaved improperly is not relevant to determining whether sexual harassment has occurred. Therefore, individuals need to be aware of their behaviors and their possible impact. Below are some of the questions that one may want to ask himself/herself to determine whether one’s behavior is sexual and/or unwanted.

    a. Is the behavior initiated equally?
    b. Are we equally powerful?
    c. Would I engage in this behavior with a person who is not of the gender of the people that I am sexually attracted to?
    d. Would I like this behavior to be made public?
    e. Would I behave this way if my partner, spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend were standing next to me?
    f. Would I want to engage in this behavior with my child, spouse, mother, father, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, etc?

    If the answer to any of the above questions is NO, your behavior may be sexual and/or unwanted. 

  3. Grievance Redressal Mechanism:

    I. CASH

    The BITS Law School has constituted a Committee against Sexual Harassment (CASH) to address grievances against sexual harassment. The CASH will have the following responsibilities:

    a. Provide assistance if an employee or a student chooses to file a complaint with the police;
    b. Provide mechanisms of dispute redressal and dialogue to anticipate and address issues through just and fair conciliation without undermining the complainant’s rights, and minimize the need for purely punitive approaches that lead to further resentment, alienation or violence;
    c. Protect the safety of the complainant by not divulging the person’s identity, and provide the mandatory relief by way of sanctioned leave or relaxation of attendance requirement or transfer to another department or supervisor as required during the pendency of the complaint, or also provide for the transfer of the offender;
    d. Ensure that victims or witnesses are not victimized or discriminated against while dealing with complaints of sexual harassment;
    e. Ensure prohibition of retaliation or adverse action against a covered individual because the employee or the student is engaged in protected activity;
    f. Inform all individuals about their rights and obligations through training and dissemination of the CASH policy;
    g. Increase awareness by including the anti-discrimination, harassment policy in the orientation materials for new faculty, staff, students, and volunteers

    Committee composition

    Following the notification of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013, the CASH would be headed by a woman and not less than half of its members would be women. Further, to prevent the possibility of any undue pressure or influence from any quarter, the committee would involve an external expert on the board.

    Who Can Make Allegations

    Sexual harassment can be resolved by the individuals who have experienced an incident of sexual misconduct addressing the issue directly with the alleged harasser. However, when the resolution is not feasible, the person being harassed should promptly report the matter to CASH (Committee against Sexual Harassment).

    A third party may also report the matter if the sexual conduct of others in the education or work environment interferes with his/her welfare, academic or work performance.

    Process of Making Complaint of Sexual Harassment

    a. A complainant shall submit a written complaint to the CASH within three months from the date of the incident and in case of a series of incidents within a period of three months from the last incident. The email address for such complaints is Provided that where such complaint cannot be made in writing, any member of the CASH shall render all reasonable assistance to the person for making the complaint in writing; provided further that the CASH may, for reasons to be accorded in the writing, extend the time limit not exceeding three months, if it is satisfied that the circumstances were such which prevented the person from filing a complaint within the said period.
    b. Friends, relatives, colleagues, co-students, psychologists, or any other associate of the complainant may file the complaint in situations where he/she is unable to make a complaint on account of physical or mental incapacity or death.

    Counseling and Support

    A person may seek counselling or support on matters related to sexual harassment/sexual assault without having to lodge an informal or formal grievance may contact the counselling and consultation service. Please note that this service does not investigate allegations but only provides counseling and support.

    Course of Action

    a. The CASH shall meet the complainant to fully understand the details of the complaint
    b. If the Complainant requests, in writing, to settle the matter between him/her and the person against whom she has made the complaint, the CASH shall conduct a conciliation meeting to bring about a settlement
    c. If any settlement is arrived at, this shall be recorded and signed by both parties. A copy of the settlement will be given to both and to the management for record. No settlement shall be pecuniary in nature
    d. If no settlement is arrived at, the CASH shall proceed to conduct the investigation
    e. The CASH is required to complete all investigations within a period of 90 days, from receipt of a complaint
    f. The CASH will ask the complainant to provide the particulars of the incidents, supply any document or evidence in support of the allegations, and give the names of the persons who may have witnessed or have knowledge of the incident
    g. The CASH shall call the person against whom the complaint has been made. They will be provided with the summary of the complaint and will be asked to respond within a specified timeframe. They will also be given an opportunity to bring any document, evidence or witnesses in support of their defense
    h. The CASH may also choose to call any other person or ask for production of any documents or records at their discretion, during the investigation
    i. The CASH will prepare a preliminary report and share it with both. The parties may make a representation before the committee on their view of the findings
    j. The CASH shall submit its final report and recommendations to the Dean’s Office within 15 days of the completion of the investigation. All the statements/depositions before the CASH must be documented and signed by the concerned parties. The final report will also have to be signed by all the committee members. On finding alleged guilty, the committee may suggest action against the guilty, which may include counseling, caution letter, withholding of promotion, termination or even referring the case to law enforcing agency, depending on the gravity of the case

    Interim Redressal BITS Law School may:

    a. Transfer the complainant or the respondent to another section or department to minimize the risks involved in contact or interaction, if such a recommendation is made by the CASH
    b. Grant leave to the aggrieved with full protection of status and benefits for a period up to three months
    c. Restrain the respondent from reporting on or evaluating the work or performance or tests or examinations of the complainant
    d. Ensure that offenders are warned to keep a distance from the aggrieved, and wherever necessary, if there is a definite threat, restrain their entry into campus
    e. 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


    Every attempt will be made to protect the confidentiality of the alleged victim and the alleged harasser.

  4. Punishment and Compensation

    a. Anyone found guilty of sexual harassment shall be punished in accordance with the service rules of the University, if the offender is an employee

    b. Where the respondent is a student, depending upon the severity of the offense, the University may:
    i. Withhold privileges of the student such as access to library, auditoria, halls of residence, transportation, scholarships, allowances, and identity cards;
    ii. Suspend or restrict entry into campus for a specific period;
    iii. Expel and strike off name from the rolls of the institution, including denial of readmission, if the offense so warrants;
    iv. Award reformative punishments like mandatory counseling and/ or performance of community services
    v. If the respondent is a repeated offender, the University shall take cognizance of this in deciding on the nature and quantum of punishment

    c. The aggrieved person is entitled to the payment of compensation. The University shall issue directions for payment of compensation recommended by the ICC and accepted by the Executive Authority, which shall be recovered from the offender. The compensation payable shall be determined on the basis of –
    i. Mental trauma, pain, suffering, and distress caused to the aggrieved person;
    ii. The loss of career opportunity due to the incident of sexual harassment;
    iii. The medical expenses incurred by the victim for physical, psychiatric treatment;
    iv. The income and status of the alleged perpetrator and victim; and
    v. The feasibility of such payment in lump sum or in installments

  5. Amendments

    These Rules may be revised and amended from time to time on the basis of court judgements and revision in other applicable laws, rules and regulations. Rules may also be amended through feedback and suggestions from members of the BITS Law School. As and when amendments are made, all members of the BITS Law School community will be informed.