Internal Complaints Committee (Women's Grievances Cell)


As enshrined in the Preamble to the Constitution of India, "equality of status and opportunity" must be secured for all citizens; equality of every person under the law is guaranteed by Article 14 of the constitution.

A safe workplace is, therefore, a woman's legal right. Indeed, the Constitutional doctrine of quality and personal liberty is contained in Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. These articles ensure a person's right to equal protection under the law, to live a life free from discrimination on any ground and to the defence of life and personal liberty. The UN Convention further reinforces this on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979 and ratified by India. Often described as an international bill of rights for women, it calls for the equality of women and men in terms of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural and civil spheres. It underlines that discrimination and attacks on women's dignity violate the principle of equality of rights.

"The meaning and content of the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution of India are of sufficient amplitudes to encompass all facets of gender equality...." Late Chief Justice J.S. Verma, Supreme Court of India, Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan.

"Whereas sexual harassment, results in violation of the fundamental rights to equality and dignity. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 was enacted to ensure safe working spaces for women and build enabling work environments that respect women's right to equality of status and opportunity. A practical implementation of the Act will realize their right to gender equality, life and liberty, and equality in working conditions everywhere. The sense of security at the workplace will improve women's participation in work, resulting in their economic empowerment and inclusive growth.

Keeping the above guidelines in view, Sree Balaji Dental College and Hospitals affiliated with University BIHER (Bharath Institution of higher Education and Research) have constituted a Committee against Sexual Harassment. Sree Balaji Dental College and Hospitals have committed to providing a congenial and conducive atmosphere in which students, teachers, and non-teaching staff can work together in an environment free of violence, harassment, exploitation, and intimidation. This includes all forms of gender violence, sexual harassment, and discrimination based on gender. Every member is expected to be aware of the commitment to the right to freedom of expression and association. It strongly supports gender equality and opposes gender discrimination and violence.

The Supreme Court of India, in a landmark judgment in August 1997 (Vishaka & others vs the State of Rajasthan & others), stated that every instance of sexual harassment is a violation of "Fundamental Rights" under Articles 14, 15, and 21 of the Constitution of India, and amounts to a breach of the "Right to Freedom" under Article 19 (1)(g). Another Supreme Court Judgment in January 1999 (Apparel Export Promotion Council vs Chopra) has stated that sexually harassing behaviour "needs to be eliminated as there is no compromise on such violations". The Supreme Court further reiterated that sexual harassment "violates the fundamental right to gender equality and the right to life and liberty".

Based on these, Sree Balaji Dental College and Hospitals made it mandatory to adhere to the following from the year 2022:

1. An anti-sexual harassment cell to be made functional with at least two senior women faculty on the Committee

2. An anti-sexual harassment policy to be adopted and publicized

3. An affidavit declares that the anti-sexual cell is operative, and such a policy is adopted.

The Supreme Court judgment of 1997 makes it obligatory for every employer and other responsible persons to follow the guidelines laid down by the Court and evolve a specific policy to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Following this, Sree Balaji Dental College and Hospitals are bound by the same directive, committed to upholding the institutional mandate ensuring the above mentioned human rights, adopted the following policy.

In a landmark judgment, Vishaka vs State of Rajasthan (1997), the Supreme Court of India created legally binding guidelines basing it on the right to equality and dignity accorded under the Indian constitution as well as by the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

It included:

1. A definition of sexual harassment

2. Shifting accountability from individuals to institutions

3. Prioritizing prevention

4. Provision of an innovative redress mechanism

The Supreme Court defined sexual harassment as any unwelcome, sexually determined physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct. Examples included sexually suggestive remarks about women, demands for sexual favours, and sexually offensive visuals in the workplace. The definition also covered situations where a woman could be disadvantaged in her workplace due to threats relating to employment decisions that could negatively affect her working life.

It placed responsibility on employers to ensure that women did not face a hostile environment and prohibited intimidation or victimization of those cooperating with an inquiry, including the affected complainant and witnesses.

It directed for the establishment of a redressal mechanism in the form of a Complaints Committee, which will look into the sexual harassment of women in the workplace. The Complaints Committees were mandated to be headed by a woman employee, with not less than half of its members being women and provided for the involvement of a third party person / NGO expert on the issue to prevent any undue pressure on the complainant. The guidelines extended to all kinds of employment, from paid to voluntary, across the public and private sectors.

Vishaka established that international standards/law could expand the scope of India's Constitutional guarantees and fill in the gaps wherever they exist. India's innovative history in tackling workplace sexual harassment beginning with the Vishaka Guidelines and subsequent legislation, has given critical visibility to the issue. Workplaces must now own their responsibility within this context and ensure that women can work in safe and secure spaces.

Declaration of Policy

Sree Balaji Dental College and Hospitals, BIHER, shall value the dignity of every individual, enhance the development of its human resources, guarantee full respect for human rights, ensure the full enforcement of "Fundamental Rights" under articles 14, 15, 19(1) (g) and 21 of the Constitution of India, and uphold the dignity of workers, employees, applicants for employment, students or those undergoing training, instruction or education. All forms of sexual harassment in the employment, education or training environment are hereby declared unlawful. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act 2013 is implemented in its entirety.


1. To fulfil the directive of the Supreme Court, as per UGC directives and the Sree Balaji Dental College and Hospitals, BIHER in respect of implementing a policy against sexual harassment in the institution.

2. To evolve a mechanism for the prevention and redressal of sexual harassment cases and other acts of gender-based violence in the institution.

3. To ensure the implementation of the policy in letter and spirit through proper reporting of the complaints and their follow-up procedures.

4. To provide an environment free of gender-based discrimination.

5. To ensure equal access to all facilities and participation in activities of the college

6. To create a secure physical and social environment which will deter acts of sexual harassment

7. To promote a social and psychological environment that will raise awareness about sexual harassment in its various forms.


For this purpose, sexual harassment includes such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) as:

1. Physical contact and advances;

2. A demand or request for sexual favours;

3. Sexually coloured remarks;

4. Showing pornography;

5. Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature

Where any of these acts are committed in the circumstances where-under the victim of such conduct has a reasonable apprehension that about the victim's employment or enrolment in the institution, whether she is drawing salary or honorarium or otherwise, such behaviour can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem. It is discriminatory, for instance, when the woman has reasonable grounds to believe that her objection would disadvantage her in connection with her employment or work or studentship, including recruiting or promotion or academics, when it creates a hostile work environment. Adverse consequences might be visited if the victim does not consent to the conduct in question or raises any objection.


The rules and regulations outlined in this policy shall apply to all complaints of sexual harassment made:

1. By a member of the institution against any other member irrespective of whether the harassment is alleged to have taken place within or outside the campus.

2. By an outsider against a college member or by a member of the college against an outsider if the sexual harassment is alleged to have taken place within the campus.

3. By a college member against an outsider if the sexual harassment is alleged to have taken place outside the campus. In such cases, the Committee shall recommend that the college authorities initiate action by making a complaint with the appropriate authority. Further, the Committee will actively assist and provide available resources to the complainant in pursuing the complaint.

Composition of the Anti–Sexual Harassment Committee.

(a) A Presiding Officer who shall be a woman faculty member employed at a senior level at the educational institution;

(b) The Committee shall have a Principal and one nominated person from the management

(c) Not less than two teaching employees and two non-teaching employees, preferably committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge;

(d) Not less than three students will be enrolled at undergraduate, master's, and research scholar levels.

(e) One member from amongst non-governmental organizations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment. Provided that at least one-half of the total Members so nominated shall be women.

(f). The Committee shall include, subject to acceptance, the Inspector of Police of the jurisdictional police station. The Committee shall consist of a parent of a girl student of the college.

The members of the Committee for the academic year 2022- 23


The Committee consists of members of the faculty, administration, service staff and students' representatives. The members of the Committee for the current academic year are:










Dr. Nalini Aswath

Presiding Officer



Ms. Megha D

External Expert



Dr. Anitha Mahendran

External Expert







Dr. Sumathi Jones




Dr. Nikita Caroline John




Er. D. Prasanna








Vigneswaran S – CRRI

Vigneswaran S – CRRI



N M Shrinidhi – CRRI

Student Member



Velvizhi Tha Poo – Fourth year BDS

Student Member



Leslie Thomas T– Third year BDS

Student Member



Viyash B – Second year BDS

Student Member



Sruthi T – Second year BDS

Student Member



Ruhinda Raksan B R – First year BDS

Student Member



Ummu Saabira – First year BDS

Student Member


Role and responsibility of the Anti-sexual harassment committee:

1. To ensure the provision of a work and educational environment that is free from sexual harassment (Sexual harassment is defined by law from the perspective of the person who feels they have been harassed, and it occurs if the person who feels they have been harassed feels offended, humiliated, or intimidated by the conduct and it is reasonable, in all the circumstances that the person who feels they have been harassed would feel offended, humiliated or intimidated).

2. To take all reasonable steps (active and preventive) to prevent the harassment from occurring; address any oral/written complaint about unwelcome sexual advances, unsolicited acts of physical intimacy, unwelcome requests for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature includes oral or written statements of a sexual nature to a person or in a person's presence.

3. Obtain high-level support from the chief executive officer, Principal & Director for implementing a comprehensive strategy:

  • Providing information to all staff and students about what constitutes sexual harassment and about their responsibility not to sexually harass other staff and students
  • Providing information and training to managers, supervisors and staff conducting teaching and learning activities on meeting their responsibilities in relation to maintaining a work and study environment free from sexual harassment.

4. Develop a written policy which prohibits sexual harassment. The institution shall have a Sexual Harassment Policy. The policy outlines the Institute's key commitments and legal responsibilities and defines sexual harassment and behaviours that are not acceptable.

5. Regularly distribute and promote the policy at all levels of the organization;

Ensure that managers and supervisors discuss and reinforce the policy at staff meetings; Provide the policy and other relevant information on sexual harassment to new staff as a standard part of induction; Periodically review the policy to ensure it is operating effectively and contains up to date information.

6. Display anti-sexual harassment posters on notice boards in common work areas and distribute relevant brochures; Conduct regular awareness-raising sessions for all staff on sexual harassment issues.

7. Ensure that complaints processes:

  • are documented;
  • are explained to all employees;
  • offer both informal and formal options for resolution;
  • address complaints in a manner which is fair, timely and confidential;
  • are based on the principles of natural justice;
  • provide clear guidance on internal investigation procedures and record keeping;
  • Give an undertaking that no employee will be victimized or disadvantaged for making a complaint.

Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)

Selection of the Internal Complaint Committee members is significant as, in most cases, the committee members, if in the sub-ordinate position of power at the workplace to that of the accused, find it very difficult to diligently carry out the responsibilities bestowed on them as heads or members of the Committee, against the superiors.

The Internal Complaints Committee must remember:

It needs extensive orientation for effective functioning.

It cannot function as a criminal court.

The complainant, when she complains, has at stake her personal life and career.

The impact sexual harassment has on a woman.

It is difficult for a woman to talk about anything sexual. Hence, there can be long intervals between the harassment and the actual complaint.

It needs to handle complaints in a confidential manner and within a time-bound framework

It must submit an annual report on sexual harassment to the appropriate government authority.

Members of the ICC


1. The Committee shall have the power to summon witnesses and call for documents or any information from any employee/student.

2. If the Committee has reason to believe that an employee/student is capable of furnishing relevant documents or information, it may direct such person to produce such documents or information by serving a notice in writing on that person, summoning the person, or calling for such documents or information at such place and within such time as may be specified in the written notice.

3. Where any relevant document or information is recorded or stored using mechanical, electronic or other devices, the Committee shall have the power to direct that the same be produced or that a precise reproduction in writing of the same is produced.

4. Upon production of documents/information called for by it, the Committee shall have the power to (i) make copies of such documents/information or extracts there from; or (ii) retain such documents/information for such period as may be deemed necessary for purposes of the proceedings before it.

5. The Committee shall have the power to issue interim directions to / about any person participating in the proceedings before it.

6. The Committee shall have the power to recommend the action to be taken against any person found guilty of (a) sexually harassing the complainant; (b) retaliating against / victimizing the complainant or any other person before it, and (c) making false charges of sexual harassment against the accused person.



It will be the endeavour of the Committee:

a) To facilitate a safe environment that is free of sexual harassment;

b) To promote behaviours that create an atmosphere that ensures gender equality and equal opportunities.


1. To ensure that the mechanism for registering complaints is safe, accessible and sensitive.

2. To take cognizance of complaints about sexual harassment, conduct enquiries, provide assistance and redressal to the victims, recommend penalties and take action against the harasser, if necessary.

3. To advise the competent authority to issue warnings or take the help of the law to stop the harasser if the complainant consents.

4. To seek medical, police and legal intervention with the complainant's consent.

5. To make arrangements for appropriate psychological, emotional and physical support (in the form of counselling, security and other assistance) to the victim if desired.


1. The Committee shall meet as and when any complaint is received. Any member of the Committee may obtain a complaint.

2. The Committee may direct the complainant to prepare and submit a detailed statement of incidents if the written complaint lacks exactness and required particulars within two (2) days from such direction or such other period that the Committee may decide.

3. The Committee shall direct the accused employee(s) to prepare and submit a written response to the complaint/allegations within four (4) days from such direction or such other period as the Committee may decide.

4. Each party shall be provided with a copy of the other's written statement(s).

5. The Committee shall conduct the proceedings following the principles of natural justice. It shall allow both parties a reasonable opportunity of presenting their case. However, should the accused choose not to participate in the proceedings, the Committee shall continue ex parte.

6. The Committee shall allow both parties to produce relevant documents and witnesses to support their case. Documents produced by either party shall be affixed with that party's signature to certify the document as an original/true copy.

7. The party against whom the document/witness is produced shall be entitled to challenge/cross- examine the same.

8. The Committee shall sit on a day-to-day basis to record and consider the evidence produced by both parties.

9. As far as practicable, all Committee proceedings shall take place in the presence of both parties.

10. Minutes of all proceedings of the Committee shall be prepared and duly signed by the members of the Committee.

11. The Committee shall make all endeavours to complete its proceedings within fifteen (15) days from receipt of a complaint.

12. The Committee shall record its findings in writing, supported with reasons. It shall forward the same with its recommendations to the Principal/Management within five (5) days from completion of the proceedings before it. If the Committee finds that the facts disclose the commission of a criminal offence by the accused person, this shall be specifically mentioned in the Committee's report.

13. If, in the course of the proceedings before it, the Committee is satisfied that a prima facie case of sexual harassment is made out against the accused employee(s)/student and that there is any chance of the recurrence of any such action, or that it is required to do so in the interests of justice, it may, on the request of the complainant or otherwise, disciplinary action could be initiated in the form of:-

  • Warning
  • Written apology
  • Bond of good behaviour
  • Adverse remarks in the confidential report
  • Debarring from supervisory duties
  • Denial of membership in statutory bodies
  • Denial of re-employment/– admission
  • Stopping of increments/promotion/denying admission ticket
  • Reversion, demotion
  • Suspension
  • Dismissal
  • Any other relevant mechanism

If, in the course of the proceedings before it, the Committee is satisfied that any person has retaliated against / victimized the complainant or any person assisting the complainant as a result of the complaint having been made or such assistance having been offered, the Committee shall report the same in writing, to the Principal / Management, with reasons and with recommendations of the action to be taken against such person.

Suppose, at the culmination of the proceedings before it, the Committee is satisfied that the complainant has knowingly brought false charges of sexual harassment against any person. In that case, it shall report the same in writing to the Principal/Management, with reasons and recommendations of the action to be taken against such person.

Annual Report

The Chairperson of the Committee will prepare an Annual Report at the end of each academic year, giving a complete account of the activities of the Committee during the year gone by. A copy of the report may be sent to the College Management, Registrar, University, and the UGC.

Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee Complaint Form

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