The principal of Delhi University’s premiere college St Stephen’s, Valson Thampu, has been summoned before a city court to answer charges of libel and slander levelled against him by a suspended employee whose suit for wrongful dismissal had been earlier dismissed by the High Court.
Subha Kumar Dash, who had been working as an administrative officer in the college since 2010, has accused Thampu of defaming, harassing and humiliating him after he brought to light certain irregularities in the finances of the college.
Dash - who has sought Rs 5 lakh as damages in the civil suit for libel - also alleged that though he and the principal were once close, he was quickly sidelined by Thampu after refusing to convert to Christianity when offered.
Additional District Judge Kamini Lau asked the principal and co-accused college employee Deepak Mukarji to respond by February 25.
In his suit, Dash enclosed a series of letters between himself and the principal before his suspension and sick leave which he claims highlights several issues.
In the correspondence, Dash informs Thampu of several instances of alleged harassment, including that on November 11 last year. The principal, allegedly installed CCTV cameras all around his house to keep a watch on him.
This along with other incidents have been referred to, such as Thampu writing to the governing body calling Dash an alcoholic, an accusation he allegedly repeated on the college’s website along with co-accused Mukarji.
On November 2, 2014, he had sent two text messages to the principal protesting the alleged insult and harassment meted out to him and his family members.
Dash had also filed a case earlier when he was suspended by the college in December last year, but the college December 17 revoked his suspension after which Dash withdrew the case from the high court.
Thampu had earlier told Hindustan Times that administrative officer Subha Kumar Dash had been suspended due to “misconduct”.
“Subha Kumar Dash has been indulging in gross misconduct, that includes sending out derogatory and defamatory messages to the college administration, members of the college community and those outside, making wild and baseless allegations,” Thampu had said in the suspension order.