BHU faculty member accused of misbehaviour to be compulsorily retired
The executive council (EC) of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has decided to give compulsory retirement to Professor Shail Kumar Chaube who was accused of misbehaviour by a group of female students during an academic tour to Odisha in October 2018.
A senior official of the university, who didn’t wish to be named, said, “The EC has taken a decision to compulsorily retire Prof Shail Kumar Chaube for allegedly making obscene gestures and passing vulgar comments at women students during an academic tour to Odisha, last year. The decision was taken at a meeting of the executive council in New Delhi on Friday.”
When contacted, BHU vice-chancellor Prof Rakesh Bhatnagar, who also chairs the EC, told HT, “A decision has been taken in this regard.” He, however, refused to give any details about the decision, saying that the minutes of the meeting would be shared later.
According to the senior varsity official who spoke to HT, among those who attended the EC meeting on Friday were Dr AK Tripathi of science faculty and registrar of the forest research Institute, Dehradun, Prof Harishchandra Nainwal, head, department of geology, HNB University, Garhwal, Dr AK Singh of ICAR centre, Ranchi, Prof Adya Prasad Pandey, vice-chancellor, Central University, Manipur, Prof Asim Kumar Mukherji of Allahabad University, Prof Bachcha Singh of chemistry department, BHU, and Prof Anand Mohan, professor emeritus of IIT-BHU. Registrar of BHU, Neeraj Tripathi, was also present in his capacity as the secretary of the executive council.
To recall, Prof Chaube was suspended soon after the alleged incident in October 2018. As many as 36 women students had accused him of inappropriate behaviour during the study tour. However, in a decision that did not go down well with the students, the BHU EC revoked Chaube’s suspension in June, this year, soon after the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) submitted its report that confirmed misbehaviour on the part of the accused professor.
The BHU EC decided to punish the professor by including the incident in his service record book, which they said would bar him from ever taking up any administrative role in any educational institute. The V-C also said that Prof Chaube would never be asked to shoulder the responsibility of study tours and would not be promoted.
Despite the varsity’s explanations, on September 14, a group of BHU students began a sit-in to protest Prof Chaube’s reinstatement.
The next day, the BHU administration sent Prof Chaube on a long leave and decided to refer the complaint against him back to the EC. The protesting students called off their stir, but submitted an eight-point memorandum to the university administration, demanding the professor’s expulsion from the varsity.
BHU public relations officer Rajesh Singh had said that on reconsidering the matter, it was decided by the university authorities to refer it (complaint against Chaube) back to the executive council for a review of its (earlier) decision. Till that time Prof Shail Kumar Chaube was directed to proceed on a long leave.
On Friday, the matter was put before the executive council.
Meanwhile, Prof Chaube has labelled the allegations against him as false and motivated. “All allegations levelled at me are false. These charges were levelled by a few people who were envious of my progress. Along with me, three other professors, two lab attendants and a guardian also accompanied the students during the study tour (to Odisha). I only delivered my duty as a teacher and a guardian of the students, to ensure the success of the academic tour,” he said in his defence.