PU panel indicts centre superintendent, slams college | punjab | Hindustan Times
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PU panel indicts centre superintendent, slams college

punjab Updated: Apr 09, 2013 20:55 IST
Harpreet Kaur
Harpreet Kaur
Hindustan Times
Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College

An inquiry committee that probed sexual harassment charges against an examination superintendent and the alleged misconduct of the management of Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, Dasuya, by five women teachers of the college's English department, has found the charges to be true. The report of the committee (a copy is with HT) will be tabled before the Punjab University Syndicate on April 15.

The 5-member committee, constituted by Panjab University vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover, has found that the centre superintendent for December 2012 semester exams, Balwinder Singh Saini, a lecturer at Government College Tanda Urmur, did harass the women.

It adds that the college management, including woman principal NK Ghuman, dean Rupinder Kaur Randhawa, members of managing committee JS Randhawa, Gurpreet Singh Cheema and Chanan Singh Saini 'sidetracked' the issue.

"It is established that the college management and staff…sidetracked the issue, and kept on shielding the accused while penalising the complainants," the report says.

The complainants had submitted that Balwinder, the centre superintendent, was sexually harassing them. They had also alleged that the superintendent, in connivance with the college principal and management, helped a kin of GTB Khalsa School principal copy in the exams.

"Documentary and circumstantial evidence points to the negligent …. approach of the college authorities in handling persistent complaints (even if verbal)," the report adds.

The report also condemns the 'non co-operative' attitude of the college management for refusing to provide voice samples during investigation.

"Evidence shows that only some serious incident prompted the women teachers to confront the authorities, even at the cost of their career. It is not easy for young women employees to file a formal written complaint alleging sexual harassment. Frequent acts of sexual harassment and a specific incident by the accused on December 21, 2012, are confirmed by written statements of complainants and the accused, dean, principal, members of college management, centre staff and the students, apart from the circumstantial evidence."

The case
Five women lecturers allege that centre superintendent Balwinder Singh Saini was sexually harassing them during the December semester exams at Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, Dasuya. He is also accused of helping the kin of an influential local school principal in copying. No heed is paid to their complaint and four of them are shunted out and teaching work is withdrawn from the fifth. Finally, PU sets up a probe panel, which visits the college and indicts the exam superintendent.

Accused has history of similar behavior
"Balwinder Singh has habitually been indulging into acts of harassment and discrimination towards women colleagues," reads the report. Tanda Urmur college principal, where Balwinder is a lecturer, produced documents to prove that his behavior towards women was 'wrong'.