Before you go forward, we would like you to keep in mind that everyone has different circumstances. There is no right or wrong recourse, as long as you are satisfied with your choice. We urge you to take into account your mental health when determining what recourse you opt for but also would like to remind you that if at any point this seems intimidating, confusing or scary, we are here to guide you through it.
There are two types of recourse available - formal and informal.
Informal mechanism can include counselling, educating, orienting, or warning the respondent to promptly stop the unwelcome behaviour or appointing a neutral person to act as a conciliator between you and the accused to resolve the complaint through conciliation.
Conciliation is a process where a neutral third party helps the two parties reach a settlement i.e, a solution acceptable to both parties. While monetary settlements are not permitted, any other settlement reached by you and the accused will be recorded and enforced by the IC, i.e, if you and the accused have agreed that the accused shall stay away from you, then the same shall be recorded by the IC and forwarded to the Executive Authority of the University, i.e, the Vice-Chancellor or Registrar. However, if you are not satisfied and cannot reach a settlement with the accused, you possess full rights to opt for the formal route of inquiry,
However, if the IC feels that the degree of the situation is severe, they may recommend that you go forward with the formal process. Similarly, they may also suggest informal recourse to you. However, remember that it is your right and prerogative to chose whichever recourse you are comfortable with.
The formal route is where the IC will make a determination of the guilt of the accused. This shall be done by weighing the evidence of both sides, assessing which seems more probable and making a finding. If the IC deems the accused guilty, they will recommend a punishment.
if the offender is a student, the punishment will depend fully upon the policy of the University. For instance, the University Grants Commission enlists the following punishments to Universities that fall under its purview:
(a) withhold privileges of the student such as access to the library, auditoria, halls of residence, transportation, scholarships, allowances, and identity card;
(b) suspend or restrict entry into the campus for a specific period;
(c) expel and strike off the name from the rolls of the institution, including denial of readmission, if the offence so warrants;
(d) award reformative punishments like mandatory counselling and, or, the performance of community services.
If it is an employer, the punishment will be in accordance with the service rules of the university and includes monetary compensation if the IC deems it required:
In case service rules do not exist, the recommended action may include:
• Disciplinary action, including a written apology, reprimand, warning, censure;
• Withholding promotion/ pay raise/ increment;
• Community service.
If they deem that monetary compensation is appropriate, in deciding the monetary compensation to be given, the IC will take into account:
• Mental trauma, pain, suffering and emotional distress caused;