A writ petition was filed by a faculty member of TKM College of Engineering, Mr. Aaron S. John who allegedly groped and misbehaved with women inside the campus. After the Internal Complaints Committe of the college found him guilty, Mr. John went to the HC to challenge the ICC findings, as well as the college principal’s decree suspending him for 18 months.
Justice Dev Ramachandran of the Kerala high court noted that most cases of sexual harassment are against the boys and not the girls. Furthermore, a student should be educated by his or her family to respect the other gender from the start of their school life. Real men dont bully women. Harrasment is not an expression of masochism. Moreover, treating women with respect is not old-fashioned, sexism is not “cool” and shouldn’t be accepted.
Basic etiquette should be taught from primary school to instill strong virtues in students, so that they grow up to be judicious adults. “Boys must know that they should not touch a girl/woman without her explicit consent. They should understand “No” means “No”. We must teach our boys to be selfless and gentle, rather than selfish and entitled” – Kerala high court The court pointed towards the fact that the education system is immensely academically inclined. Character development is not focused on. Hence, it was suggested by the court that character building and etiquettes should be a part of the curriculum.
The order of the court began by noting that sexual harrasment against students in a place of learning should impel us as a society to retropect. The role of the University Grants Commission in such matters was also seriously noted. “it does not forebode well for the future when allegations of sexual harassment are accepted to be ubiquitous, as it appears these days” Thus, the court ordered the institution to form a ‘Collegiate Students Redressal Commission,’ a formal committee that will hear John and make a final judgement.
Within one month, the committee is required to hear all sides and reach a conclusion Also, .it was urged by the kerala high court that policymakers and educational influencers to pay attention to this matter and instructed the Registry to serve a copy of the ruling on the Chief Secretary of Kerala, the Secretary of the General Education Department, and the Secretary of the Higher Education Department, as well as education boards such as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE).
Written By – Ishika Gandhi