Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a show cause notice to St Stephen’s College principal Valson Thampu on Saturday, in relation to the sexual harassment case filed by a research scholar against a professor of the college.
The research scholar had filed a complaint of sexual harassment against her research guide and college’s chemistry department’s associate professor Satish Kumar and accused the principal of trying to shield him.
Earlier too, DCW had summoned Thampu in the same matter in September and he had assured that he would help the research scholar in ‘every possible manner’.
A notice has been sent to Thampu, as he has still not changed the research scholar’s guide, as directed by DCW and also written several Facebook posts allegedly taunting the complainant.
According to the notice sent by DCW, the Internal Complaints Committee of the college did not complete the inquiry into the complaint of the research scholar within the stipulated time of 90 days, as per the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013.
In fact, a senior UGC official, who was deputed to investigate the particular sexual harassment case, has shown several glaring anomalies in the manner St Stephen’s dealt with the case.
DCW has also taken cognizance of the numerous Facebook posts, which Thampu has been writing about the case in support of the professor. In one of the posts, he had even called the case a “lie” spread by a teacher of the college.
“This case has been stretching for a long time and the victim’s PhD is also not progressing. Her career has also been stalled. Further to add to the insult, principal keeps on writing on Facebook, so we had to send this notice,”said Swati Maliwal, DCW chief.
The principal has been asked to reply to the notice within seven days of receipt of the letter, failing which action could be taken against him. “It is strongly recommended that the principal takes corrective steps for immediate relief to the complainant. The hon’ble court will decide the merits of the sexual harassment case and the principal should refrain from any public statements and declarations on the merits of this particular sexual harassment case as the matter is sub-judice,” said Maliwal. Thampu could not be reached for comment on the matter.