Decks have been cleared and summons issued for a major general and colonel of the army to face trial for the alleged molestation of a librarian at the Army Public School (APS) in Chandimandir in 2011, at the district courts of Panchkula.
The librarian, 48, had approached the court last year with allegations of molestation, criminal intimidation, criminal conspiracy and for using words or gesture intended to outraging modesty of woman against Major Gen GP Singh, who was the chairman of the APS; Colonel Kuldip Singh, the then officer in charge of APS; and the then principal Punita Kanwar. But 18 days after the case, the school dismissed the woman, who had been working there for 17 years.
Finally on June 7 this year, the court of additional chief judicial magistrate Atul Marya held that the librarian “has successfully established a prima facie case ... that the persons arrayed as accused, in criminal conspiracy... made gestures and assaulted the complainant intended to outrage her modesty.” The officers and the ex-principal have been summoned on September 4. Kanwar is no more employed as principal, while Maj Gen GP Singh is now posted in Delhi and Col Kuldip at Karu (Ladakh), J&K.
The woman, who was recruited in the APS as librarian in 1995, told the court that on September 19, 2011, Col Kuldip held her hand and tried to hug her. When she shouted and started crying, he told her to give in or lose her job. When she complained to Kanwar, she abused and threatened her in the presence of the colonel.
The victim said there was no sexual harassment committee in the school despite it being mandated by the Supreme Court. She sent a telegram to the SC and later to the Central Board of School Education. Meanwhile, in inquiries, Kanwar and Maj Gen Singh allegedly protected Col Kuldip. She approached the police on February 27, 2012.
But as the harassment allegedly went on, on July 31, 2012, she filed an application before the district court. On August 18, 2012, she was fired from the school for filing the complaints and over 3,000 missing books.