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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Law intern sexual harassment case: Ex-judge still on Kolkata university rolls

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 30, 2013
First Published: 00:15 IST(30/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:46 IST(30/11/2013)

The National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) could still send students to work for the retired Supreme Court judge AK Ganguly who allegedly sexually harassed a law intern, HT has learnt from reliable sources.

The Kolkata-based university has also taken no steps to end his teaching assignments once the new academic term and classes resume.

Several press reports earlier suggested that the university was to distance itself from Ganguly, but NUJS vice-chancellor Prof. P Ishwara Bhat confirmed that no orders have been given to the university’s registrar in this regard.

“So far, we have not issued any orders (that no interns be sent to Ganguly),” Bhat told HT.

NUJS’ last teaching term finished before the law intern’s blog-post went online and no classes by any teachers are being taught at present. The course that Ganguly taught last semester was optional and it was unclear if he would be called to teach during the next term.

Students and faculty of NUJS have been angry at the vice chancellor’s alleged inaction in this matter.

“I personally believe, and this is the opinion of a lot of my batch-mates and a majority of students here, is that pending investigation the college shouldn’t have any relations with the judge,” a final year student told HT.

Some faculty members close to the intern, now a lawyer working with an NGO, confirmed on condition of anonymity that the VC had not called the victim or her family to verify her claims.

For NUJS, this is not the first case of sexual harassment this year. A previous complaint filed by a woman working directly with the VC against a member in the administrative department is still pending despite the anti-sexual harassment law calling for speedy disposal of such matters.

This lack of swift action forced the woman to approach the Kolkata police. The matter is now before the judiciary. The accused was denied anticipatory bail by both the lower court and the Calcutta HC.

It was only after the rejection of the anticipatory bail of the accused that the NUJS executive council rejected the internal committee report which proposed moving the accused’s workstation off the floor on which the victim worked as a solution, HT learnt.

The report also initially called the lewd messaged sent by the accused to the victim “expressions of love.”


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