Bangladesh: High Court Orders on Jahagirnagar University
The writ petition was filed by Prof. Sirajul Islam Chowdhury, Ain o Salish Kendra represented by Sultana Kamal, Kamal Lohani, Nijera Kori, represented by Khushi Kabir, and Kormojibi Nari represented by Shirin Akhter.
A Division Bench comprising Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice Quamrul Islam Siddiqi issued the Rule Nisi and the interim order. The petitioner’s lawyers were Ms. Sara Hossain, Dr. Shirin Sharmeen Choudhury, Mr. Ramzan Ali Sikder, Ms. Ainun Nahar Siddiqa and Ms. Abanti Nurul.
In April 2008, four women students submitted written complaints of sexual harassment against Asst Prof Sanower Hossain Sunny of the Drama and Dramatic Theory Department. A preliminary inquiry committee was set up and then a further inquiry committee. On consideration of their reports, the Syndicate established a Full Inquiry Committee under Section 44 of the Jahangirnagar University Act. This report was submitted to the Syndicate which decided on 13.9.2008 to exonerate the said teacher of all charges ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. No reasons were given for this decision. The Syndicate, despite having clear powers to do so, had never suspended the teacher pending inquiry. After this decision, the teacher was then reinstated. Within a few days, following an incident on campus, he himself made a complaint – against six students (two of whom had made complaints against him and two of whom had given evidence against him). The syndicate moved the same day to suspend these students.
2 December 2008
Source: Ain o Salish Kendra