Sexual harassment: Woman professor approaches police, NCW against PU V-C

  • Bhartesh Singh Thakur, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jul 01, 2015 09:39 IST

The woman professor, who had alleged sexual harassment by Panjab University vice-chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover, has now approached the UT police for an action against the V-C.

However, police are yet to call her to record the statement or register an FIR.

UT inspector general of police RP Upadhyay said, "The PU sexual harassment committee has been asked submit its findings. Also, the Union ministry of human resource development has been looking into the matter now."

The woman senator had first complained to chancellor Hamid Ansari, claiming the V-C misbehaved with her when she went to congratulate him over his extension on April 15. The complaint was also taken up by a committee headed by professor Ronki Ram. However, the panel had given a clean chit to the V-C on April 17.

The Panjab University Committee against Sexual Harassment (PUCASH) is yet to come to a conclusion on her complaint. The complainant had also appeared before the panel. Meanwhile, following the complaint, a fact-finding committee was also formed by the MHRD.

Talking to HT, vice-chancellor Arun Grover said, "She has submitted some fresh allegations and I will have to reply (to the fact finding committee) by July 6."

Regarding the police complaint, he said, "It is a democratic country. How can I stop anyone from filing a complaint?"

Police complaint

Levelling fresh allegations against the vice-chancellor under sections 354A (for making physical contact), section 509 (for using word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and section 507 (for criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) of the Indian Penal Code before police, the woman senator had also complained to the National Commission for Women (NCW) earlier. On May 8, the NCW had also written to the UT IGP to submit a report within 15 days.

On May 28, after an incident outside the VC office, she approached police alleging she was threatened by two youths over her complaint against the vice-chancellor.

Now she has "requested for a thorough investigation after registration of the case in order to bring home the culprit for having committed the illegal acts and unlawful misdeeds".

In her complaint, she has stated an incident that took place on March 31, 2013, on the PU campus during a cultural function, which "falls under the offence for making physical contact". She claimed she did not take any action at that time considering the damage it could have caused to her and family reputation. "However, it was clear by then that because I hadn't entertained his sexual advance, he started behaving quite rudely with me.

Thereafter, the only occasions when I interacted with him were the syndicate and senate meetings,"read the complaint.

"On March 8, 2015, at 10:30am, during a syndicate meeting at the administrative block of the university, I noticed whenever he interacted with me he winked, whereas he did not do so with anybody else throughout the meeting…,"added the complaint.

V-C's reply to panel formed under professor Ronki Ram

Grover had told the committee formed under professor Ronki Ram that the allegations were "false, malicious, derogatory, slanderous and meant only to defame him". On her allegations that he used to wink at her, Grover had said that this was "slanderous and cast aspersions on his character".

He had also denied having raised his voice or shouted at her, and claimed he had talked to her for about 20 seconds on April 15.

Further, he stated her malicious insinuation that he "winks"has sexual connotations and amounts to harassment of a male colleague by a woman colleague.

The committee, before which the woman professor did not appear, had given a clean chit to the vice-chancellor on April 17.

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