Hyderabad: In a blow to the Symbiosis Law School in Hyderabad, the ministry for Women and Child Development has directed the school management to re-instate two female students, Ms Apoorva Y. K. and Ms Snigdha Jayakrishnan.
The two were dismissed from attending class and were evicted last October for exposing sexual misconduct by a university professor and the shoddy manner in which the administration handled the complaint.
In a letter (a copy of which is in the possession of this newspaper), the Ms Maneka Gandhi’s ministry said: “This is to invite your (SLS) kind attention to the email complaint relating to ‘The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013’, forwarded from the office of Minister Women and Child Development on 06- March-2018. The minister has desired that the students should be reinstated and allowed to attend classes in the Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad.”
This newspaper was the first to report sexual harassment at the law school on October 25. It was based on a complaint against senior faculty Prof Dr Srinivas Methuku, who is accused of sexual misconduct by a student.
In a complaint addressed to the Union HRD ministry, the student said the professor “ogled at her breast and private parts of other female students”. She said the management had brushed aside complaints of sexual harassment within the campus.
Following the allegations, a committee of the law school from its headquarters in Pune visited the Hyderabad campus and asked two female students to give an undertaking that they will take back the complaint and pull down a social post that allegedly defames the institution. This apart, the professor, Dr Srinivas Methuku, was dismissed.
But the complaint was turned against the two students, Apoorva Y. K. and Snigdha Jayakrishnan, for having spoken out. They were accused of defaming the university. Days after the issue was reported, Apoorva and Snigdha were evicted from the campus and asked to leave the hostel. The management asked students to pull down posts on social media that would sabotage the institution.
That is when Apoorva’s aggrieved parents moved the High Court, which is hearing the case....