NIT sexual harassment case: NHRC issues notice to secretary health
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the secretary, health and family welfare department, Punjab, asking him to submit a detailed report within a month, pertaining to alleged sexual harassment of a woman staffer by a the doctor of the dispensary at Dr BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology (NIT).punjab Updated: Jun 11, 2013 20:54 IST
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the secretary, health and family welfare department, Punjab, asking him to submit a detailed report within a month, pertaining to alleged sexual harassment of a woman staffer by a the doctor of the dispensary at Dr BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology (NIT).
Previously, on May 15, the NHRC had instructed the state government to look into the complaint of Baljeet Kaur, a dresser posted at NIT's dispensary, against the dispensary in-charge Dr Tarun Sehgal.
"On January 14, Dr Sehgal entered the dispensary and molested me. I resisted his moves. He also passed cattiest remarks against me," Baljeet Kaur told Hindustan Times.
After the incident, Baljeet also filed a complaint against the doctor to the NIT director Dr SK Das, the same day. Instead of taking any action against the doctor, NIT authorities started disciplinary proceedings against her by serving a charge-sheet to her on the doctor's complaint, she alleged.
Seeking justice against the highhandedness of the doctor, Baljeet Kaur, on January 19, lodged complaint about the incident with Jalandhar police commissioner, National SC/ST Commission, Vidhan Sabha Committee and the Punjab State Women Commission. "Thereafter, I submitted a complaint to the NHRC on April 13. I will kept on fighting for justice till the accused got punished," she said.
When contacted, Dr S Ghosh, officiating NIT director, said that he was not aware of any notice. "We are still to receive any instructions in this regard from the state health department," Ghosh said.
Ghosh, who is also head of the NIT committee current probing the incident, said that the report of the incident would be submitted to board of governors very soon.
Pressed further on the issue, he said that he was not the right person to comment, as he was officiating head till director Dr SK Das was out of town.
On a question on the shifting of Baljeet's duty from the dispensary to the girls hostel, after the incident, he denied comment.
Baljeet Kaur alleged that though she submitted a complaint to the police, but an FIR has not been lodged as yet.
"The police are waiting for NIT committee report to go public, before moving further. The police should not get biased by the NIT panel report. The police should conduct their own inquiry and register an FIR in this case," she said.
She alleged that the NIT authorities did not provide her a, in spite of the fact that an RTI application was moved in March.
Dr Sehgal was earlier suspended and was shunted out of the campus after 10 girl students met the then NIT director Moin Uddin on October 8, 2008, to complain about sexual harassment by the former during their medical check-up. The medical officer was placed under suspension while his entry on the campus had been banned. Besides, he was made to vacate official accommodation on the campus.
When contacted, Dr Sehgal refuted the allegations and said that he was innocent. He alleged that Baljeet Kaur actually slapped him.
"She disobeyed my instructions while working in the dispensary and abused me. After this, I was the first to lodge a complaint against her to the NIT director. She is now served with charge sheet. The NIT panel, probing the incident, has also found her guilty of misconduct. Even an inquiry conducted by the state technical education concluded that she was at fault," he claimed.
He alleged that Baljeet Kaur had earlier leveled such sexual harassment charges against another doctor and a sweeper. "She is using the same tactics against me," he added.
On the 2008 case, he claimed that a high-level inquiry had exonerated him of all such charges.