No proof that professor molested BTech student in Mumbai, says complaints panel
Panel said it is a “very serious” case of alleged sexual harassment and advised the complainant to lodge a police complaint, which has already been done.Updated: Jun 06, 2018 12:17 IST
The Internal complaints committee (ICC) of a Matunga college probing molestation charges against a professor by a first-year BTech student said it could not find any proof of the alleged act.
In its report, submitted last Wednesday, the eight-member panel said it is a “very serious” case of alleged sexual harassment and advised the complainant to lodge a police complaint — which has already been done. The committee also recommended that the professor should not be allowed to serve as an examiner for tests in which the complainant appears, which has been implemented by the college. It also suggested that all doors in the college be installed with glass panels. HT has a copy of the report.
HT had reported that a 20-year old student claimed she was molested by the professor inside his cabin at the institute on May 18. In her complaint to the institute director, the student said the professor touched her inappropriately and forcefully kissed her when she went get his signature on a form.
In the aftermath of the alleged incident, the college sent the professor on forced leave to avoid confrontations with the complainant. Later, the ICC was directed to conduct an inquiry into the matter. The city police also booked the professor after the college informed them about the incident.
According to the report, the committee conducted four meetings between May 22 and 30. The professor, who appeared before the committee in the first meeting, said the allegations against him were baseless.
“Around 3:35 pm [the complainant] came to get [the professor’s] signature on the summer term form. She was told to correct the subject code. At that time, she started talking about her personal problems and hence her inability to study,” the report quotes the professor as saying.
The professor told the panel the girl again entered the cabin after 15-20 minutes, but was asked to wait outside. When she called in to get her form signed, she again stated some problems and left, the professor told the panel. The professor added he spotted the student outside his cabin and therefore called her. She enquired about her re-examination before leaving.
However, the complainant, who appeared before the panel in the next meeting with her father, said the professor molested her after signing her form at 5 pm. “She told the committee that from 3 to 5 pm, she was told to wait outside the cabin by professor. During this interval, she went in the cabin four times,” reads the report.
The panel also interviewed several other students and staffers of the college. In its findings the panel stated that despite requests and clear instructions, the complainant didn't give her statement in writing to the committee.
Despite repeated attempts, institute director and complainant remained unavailable for comments.