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Professor’s wife accuses IIM-L director of mental harassment

Gayatri Mohanty, wife of BK Mohanty – a professor of decision science group at IIM-L for the last 28 years – has approached the National Commission for Women (NCW) and the State Commission for Women (SCW) accusing IIM-L director of causing mental harassment.

lucknow Updated: Oct 04, 2017 13:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Professor's wife,Mental harassment,IIM-L
Lodging a complaint against the IIM-L director, Gayatri claimed he interfered in her family life.(Representative image)

Director, Indian Institute of Management-Lucknow (IIM-L), Dr Ajit Prasad is in the thick of a controversy after a professor’s wife accused him of mental harassment and wrote to state minister for women and family welfare Rita Bahuguna Joshi.

Gayatri Mohanty, wife of BK Mohanty – a professor of decision science group at IIM-L for the last 28 years – has already approached the National Commission for Women (NCW) and the State Commission for Women (SCW) accusing Prasad of causing mental harassment.

Besides writing to Rita Joshi, Gayatri also sent a letter of reminder to the SCW on Tuesday.

Lodging a complaint against the IIM-L director, Gayatri claimed he interfered in her family life.

“Though about a month has passed, I have not heard from you as yet. The delay in decisions on your part is increasing my agony, making me more distressed and fearful,” Gayatri said.

She had earlier written to the SCW on September 4.

“I have already mentioned that I am scared of Prasad. His interference in my family life has lowered my dignity, respect and comfort while living on the campus,” she said.

Gayatri said as she was an outsider (Odisha) and had no base in Uttar Pradesh, she was more fearful and facing difficulty in coping up with the situation.

In her complaint to NCW, Gayatri alleged that the director asked her husband to undergo psychiatric evaluation

“In a letter dated June 30, Prasad wrote an objectionable letter accusing Mohanty of indulging in domestic violence,” Gayatri said in her letter to the NCW, adding that the director asked her husband to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

On July 6, Prasad issued a letter to resident medical officer of IIM-L Dr SP Singh asking him to conduct psychiatric evaluation of Mohanty.

The parameters on which Mohanty’s evaluation was to rest included organisational belonging to ascertain his ability to correlate with the organisation, marital resilience to maintain long-term relationship with his spouse and family members, vertical conformity to relate to superiors and juniors in organisational context, and horizontal networking to bond with his peer group for the betterment of the organisation.

In her complaint to NCW, Gayatri alleged the language used in the letter (dated July 6) was offensive as it was not related to the discharge of her husband’s official duties.

“Not concerned about the distress and stigma already caused to me, the director issued another order whereby BK Mohanty was transferred on deputation to IIM-Jammu,” she said, adding that the director had no jurisdiction to transfer Mohanty to another IIM even on deputation.

“In the order dated August 8, it was wrongly mentioned by the director, that he is conveying the decision taken by the competent authority. In fact, there is no competent authority which can transfer BK Mohanty to any other IIM as he was appointed to a non-transferrable post at IIM-Lucknow exclusively,” she said.

On July 14, Gayatri lodged a complaint with Prasad, protesting the “behaviour, harassment and mental torture” caused to her. The copy of the letter was sent to the chairman and members of the board of governors (BoG).

On July 20, she received an e-mail from Dr Prasad suggesting she should have one-on-one talks with the members of the BoG.

“The BoG chairman and the members remained silent and insensitive to my miseries,” she alleged.

Gayatri again submitted a representation to the chairman, BoG, IIM, Lucknow, and secretary (higher education), ministry of human resource development, on August 14.

IIM-L director Ajit Prasad said Mohanty had been transferred from IIM-Lucknow to IIM-Jammu.

“I want to promote him as a dean. He can be transferred as per service rules. He didn’t want to go for some reason and levelled allegation of intrusion in his personal life,” he said.

First Published: Oct 04, 2017 13:54 IST