HC directs Delhi Police to prepare SOP for security arrangements during college festivals

The Delhi High Court Friday directed the city police to hold a meeting with representatives of Guru Gobind Singh IP university, IIT Delhi and Delhi University, and come up with a standard operating procedure for making security arrangements during college festivals.

The court passed the order on a case it has registered on its own following allegations by several female DU students that they were secretly filmed while changing in an IIT-Delhi washroom for a fashion show during the institute’s ongoing festival earlier this year.

The bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan asked DU to place on record an advisory in relation to college festivals and said, “In the meantime, DCP Legal is directed to convene a meeting in which representatives of IIT, Delhi University and IP University shall be called.”

“In this meeting, the standard operating procedure (SOP) shall be put in place regarding the security measures during college fests organized by the universities,” ordered the bench, also comprising Justice Mini Pushkarna.

The counsel for the Delhi Police informed the court that the accused in the IIT incident has been apprehended and the phone used for recording recovered.

She assured the court that “nothing (that was recorded) is on social media” and police have given protection to the girls.

The Delhi Police lawyer said the accused had created an opening in a shaft to be able to peep into the female washroom, and suggested that an infrastructural audit may be carried out by the teachers of the respective colleges to prevent such incidents in the future.

The counsel for IP University said a protocol is already in place for their annual festivals. The IIT lawyer said the institute has taken remedial measures.

About 10 students of the Delhi University alleged last month that they were secretly filmed while changing in an IIT-Delhi washroom for a fashion show during the institute’s Rendezvous festival on October 6.

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The high court took cognisance of security breaches at college festivals, particularly in relation to female students, and demanded action by the authorities concerned, observing it has been confronted with several cases of student harassment during such festivals.

The high court had said it was imperative that adequate security measures were put in place to allow students to attend such events without any fear of experiencing such acts of violation.

Such “recurrent instances”, it said, showed the “lackadaisical approach of authorities organizing such festivals in envisaging and enforcing protective mechanisms, aimed at ensuring safety of students participating or attending the event”.

The matter will be heard next on January 22.

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