In the charges of harassment raised recently by a section of junior residents at JIPMER against the head of medicine, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC-Tamil Nadu and Puducherry) has now issued notices to the government and JIPMER authorities seeking a report on the allegations of caste abuse, physical harm and abetment to suicide, involving one of the affected students.

In the complaints lodged in January this year with the JIPMER Dean (Academics), the junior residents had alleged that they were subjected to various forms of harassment during their three-year PG residency, and demanded that the MD General Medicine Professional Exit Examination, the results of which were published in December 2023 be held again, fearing that the results were ‘prejudiced’ to deliberately fail them in the practicals.

JIPMER authorities had, at that time, stated that these complaints had been promptly taken up at the appropriate level. The institution had also constituted a fact-finding committee where students, who signed on to the petition, deposed in person or virtually about the incidents. However, according to the complainants, the outcome of the proceedings had not been communicated to them so far.

Last week, the NCSC took cognisance of a complaint it received of alleged atrocity, caste abuse and assault, deliberately failing in practical examination and abetment to suicide, involving one of the students.

In notices served to the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police, SSP (Crime & Intelligence) and the JIPMER Director, the NCSC Director S. Ravivarman stated that it had decided to investigate/inquire into these allegations involving a junior resident in pursuance of the powers conferred on it under Article 338 of the Constitution of India.

The notice dated May 9 sought an action taken report within 15 days of receipt to the NCSC portal/email or post in a prescribed format.

The Commission also warned that in case of failure to submit a reply within the stipulated time, it may exercise the powers of civil courts conferred on it and “issue summons for your appearance in person or by a representative before the Commission”.

(Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104, TeleMANAS 14416 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050)