What is Due Process

According to American Heritage Dictionary “Due process” is an established course for judicial proceedings or other governmental activities that is designed to safeguard the legal rights of the individual. Due process of campus can be requested by a student in case they face any serious disciplinary action at a college or university.

The Supreme Court of India tries to read the due process through interpretation of Article 14 (Right to equality) and Article 21 (Right to life and personal liberty).

RIGHTS AVAILABLE TO THE STUDENTS

  • Right to have your case heard
  • Right to be notified of the charges against you
  • Right to hear the evidence against you
  • Right to state your side of the story before an impartial panel
  • Right to have a lawyer present during your hearing
  • Right to review the written records of the charges

INVESTIGATION FOR YOUR DEFENSE

  • Immediately gather relevant evidence if you are involved in an incident that might lead to a complaint against you
  • Hire a lawyer if your investigation requires interviewing witnesses
  • Have your own witness present during the interview
  • Record the statements of the witnesses
  • Submit the evidence in your favor
  • Never let an inadequate investigation hurt your case
  • Have an attorney if the charges against you are criminal in nature

FIGHT FOR FAIR TREATMENT

  • Review the campus policies, student handbook and disciplinary code.
  • Read the sections applicable in your case
  • Take notes of the conversation
  • Send mails that state the conversation that you had
  • Obtain a lawyer
  • Threaten legal action in writing
  • If the request for due process fails sue your university

DUE PROCESS VERSUS PUBLIC TRIAL

An assistant professor of Ashoka University was found guilty of sexual harassment but he was given a clean chit by another university. The survivor was not allowed to make representation and even her submitted evidence was not considered stating that she had submitted evidence after the ad-hoc committee completed its inquiry. This case raises more questions upon the uniformity and loopholes in the procedure of due process.