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Professor charged with sexual harassment

Charged with sexual harassment of a female colleague, an assistant professor at the state government’s premier training institute for civil servants has been slapped with a departmental inquiry, reports Satyajit Joshi.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2008 02:23 IST
Satyajit Joshi

Charged with sexual harassment of a female colleague, an assistant professor at the state government’s premier training institute for civil servants has been slapped with a departmental inquiry.

“A departmental inquiry has been ordered against the professor concerned,” said Ashvini Kumar, additional director general of the Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration. “I have asked for the completion of the inquiry at the earliest and a decision on the punishment immediately after the report is received.”

Dr Rajendra Pawar, an assistant professor with the State Institute of Rural Development of the academy that is housed in the Raj Bhavan premises and trains Indian Administrative Service and Maharashtra Public Service Commission officers, was accused by an unmarried female employee of trying to get physically intimate with her some four months ago, said academy sources, requesting anonymity for protocol reasons.

Kumar said the assistant professor had already been found guilty by a women’s committee, set up in accordance with government directives to look into complaints of sexual harassment by female employees.

The woman had lodged her complaint with the committee, charging Pawar with sending her suggestive text messages on her cellphone.

The committee, comprising of five officials of the Yashwantrao Chavan Academy and a representative of a women’s organisation, reached its conclusion after taking into consideration the text messages and the statements of the complainant and Pawar.

Pawar was suspended immediately after the report was submitted by the committee, but reinstated a few days later. Sources at the academy said Pawar could not be suspended without a formal departmental inquiry and that he had now been served with a show-cause notice.