The commission has further reprimanded the Tamil Nadu police, saying there is no clarity on why the investigation had been pending for a year, prior to the case being transferred to the CB-CID.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has recommended that the accused in the case of sexual assault in IIT-Madras, be expelled from the institute be and arrested immediately. The Commission conducted a spot visit to IIT-Madras, where a 30-year-old Dalit PhD student had lodged a complaint of sexual assault. The police did not act upon the complaint for a year after the complaint was filed. In its report, the Commission, following its visit on May 4, ordered the rustication of the accused from continuing his research programme and his immediate arrest. The report also directed IIT-Madras to extend the survivor’s scholarship from the time it lapsed to the time of her thesis submission, including pending arrears. Further, the state has been directed to provide the statutory benefits and compensation due to her as per the provisions of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and that the investigation be expedited. The Commission has sought a report within two weeks. The case is presently being investigated by CB-CID.
In 2021, the survivor had filed a complaint at the Mylapore All Women Police, on March 29, accusing Kingshuk Debsharma, her fellow scholar, of sexually assaulting her, and seven others of harassment. She had also alleged several incidents of body shaming. It was not until June the same year that the FIR was filed. Even then, the police did not include charges of rape and offence under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, in the FIR. When TNM reported the issue in March this year, the survivor had told us that the investigating officer had not even taken her calls or messages. The survivor had also told TNM that the incidents of assault and harassment began in July 2016 and continued until March 2020. When she raised the issue with the Internal Committee (IC), before she went to the police, the institution had failed to take necessary action. In April, 2022, the case was transferred to the CB-CID.
The Commission has also reprimanded the police stating, “the police officials submitted that they filed the FIR and later invoked the provision of the SC/ST Act and the investigation is initiated and that it has been transferred to CB-CID recently, but there are no answers for not completing the investigation of the matter and pending for the last one year.”