PU panel for penalty against assistant prof for sexually harassing student
An MA student had alleged on September 10, 2015, that Komal Singh indulged in “sexual talks” with her. During the proceedings before the PUCASH, the complainant produced three witnesses, who said Komal Singh used to make “sexually coloured remarks” towards the victim and was in the habit of calling almost all girl students in his office room.punjab Updated: May 01, 2017 09:57 IST
The Panjab University syndicate on Sunday recommended major penalty against assistant professor Komal Singh, after he was held guilty by the varsity’s panel of sexually harassing a postgraduate student.
The senate will decide the quantum of punishment. The major penalty includes either demotion to a lower rank or time scale or termination or dismissal. Whatever be the punishment, it would be the first such instance at PU.
After syndicate members raised concern as to why it took so much time for the varsity to bring the matter before them, PU vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover announced the delay will be probed.
- Reduction to lower post or timescale, or to lower stage in timescale.
- Removal from service but no disqualification from future employment.
- Dismissal from service of the university
It was second such complaint against Komal Singh of the public administration department. After the first complaint, he had to resign from the chairpersonship.
An MA student had alleged on September 10, 2015, that Komal Singh indulged in “sexual talks” with her. On September 15, she appeared before the Panjab University Committee Against Sexual Harassment (PUCASH) and narrated the whole interaction. She said the teacher always made indecent remarks and threatened to spoil her career if shed complained as he had to make her internal assessment.
During the proceedings before the PUCASH, the complainant produced three witnesses, who said Komal Singh used to make “sexually coloured remarks” towards the victim and was in the habit of calling almost all girl students in his office room.
- In another case of complaint by an assistant professor against another assistant professor, the PUCASH ruled that it was a case of mental harassment and did not fall under its preview. The syndicate on Sunday decided to send the complaint to the varsity’s grievance redressal committee.
- The woman teacher complained that an assistant professor barged into her room, shouted at her and threatened her. She said she was humiliated and alleged that it was a case of outraging of modesty of woman and mental harassment.
- PUCASH also investigated another complaint of a girl student against another student, which it declared false. The male student in this case was a son of a varsity functionary.
The girl told PUCASH that in the late evening on September 4, 2015, Komal Singh rang her up and said: “Teri ankhen badi sundar hai, meri wife se milti hai (Your eyes are very beautiful and are similar to my wife’s). Teri ankhon mein bada dard hai (there is pain in your eyes), and I love you, I love you.”
Komal Singh told the PUCASH that he could be “characterless” but he didn’t make any such indecent remarks to the victim, whom he always called “beta”.
When he said that he was a liberal teacher and was of helping nature, the PUCASH confronted him with a previous complaint of sexual harassment against him. Although the complainant had withdrawn that complaint, the committee informed the teacher that it was on record that he misbehaved with her and he wrongfully facilitated her in getting a hostel room.
The PUCASH held him guilty and asked the PU authorities to take action against him, and added that his previous conduct and his resignation from chairpersonship did not prove a deterrent to him for not repeating the same kind of action. The PU authorities had ordered that no administrative duty would be assigned to him, but he is taking classes.