AMU professor gets one year jail in sexual misconduct case
A case was registered under section 354A(i)(iv) (offence of making sexual remarks, unwelcome physical contact and advances) of IPC at the Civil Lines police station of Aligarh in 2014 on a complaint by an Iranian girl research scholar against Bilal Mustafa.
Aligarh’s additional district judge Rajesh Bhardwaj has quashed the acquittal by a trial court of Bilal Mustafa, a professor in the management department of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), and sentenced him to one year’s rigorous imprisonment with penalty for making sexual remarks, unwelcome physical contact and advances towards an Iranian girl research scholar studying under him.
The judge, however, allowed the bail application of Mustafa on personal bond of ₹25,000 and production of two sureties.
A case was registered under section 354A(i)(iv) (offence of making sexual remarks, unwelcome physical contact and advances) of Indian Penal Code at the Civil Lines police station of Aligarh in 2014 on a complaint by the Iranian girl research scholar against Mustafa.
The scholar, who had joined research work in 2013 under Mustafa, had first complained to the AMU administration and later to the Aligarh police.
An internal inquiry committee of AMU had given a clean chit to the professor but the police, after a probe, registered a case under relevant sections of the IPC and Information Technology Act at the Civil Lines police station in 2014.
The matter reached the trial court in 2015 but it acquitted the accused on September 17, 2018. An appeal was later filed against the acquittal order. The appellate court, after hearings, held that the accused could not be acquitted on the basis of the clean chit given by AMU committee.
The additional district judge, in his judgment dated April 21, observed that foreign students come to India for education on the basis of its image, but the offence committed by the accused was sufficient to tarnish the image of India on the international forum.
Holding the accused professor guilty, the court sentenced him for one year’s rigorous prison and ordered him to pay a penalty of ₹10,000, out of which ₹5,000 is to be paid to the complainant for litigation expenses.
Reacting to the court order, the AMU proctor prof Wasim Ali stated that no comment could be made on the judgment of the court and it was open to the faculty member, who has been released on bail, to go in appeal against the order.
“We have to study the implications of the court’s order in the light of rules and by-laws of the university and then only future course would be decided,” stated Ali.